Mother finds no help after daughter reports being sexually assaulted at her elementary school

WESTMINSTER, Colo. - A 6-year-old girl reported being sexually assaulted by a classmate in school, but 7NEWS has learned the principal never called police or social services. 

The alleged incident happened Friday inside a girls' restroom at Rocky Mountain Elementary School in Westminster.

The first grade female student told her mother about the assault and they reported it to Westminster Police the same day.  The child said a male classmate followed her into the restroom, crawled under the bathroom stall and inappropriately touched her.

Westminster Police launched a child sex assault investigation Friday.  A department spokesperson told 7NEWS Adams County Social Services was notified the same day.

The mother took her daughter to two hospitals, including Children's Hospital Colorado where trauma was diagnosed.

"When we got to Children's [Hospital] her panties were really soaked in blood," said the mother.

The mother said she met with her daughter's principal, David Knapp, at the school on Monday. She asked for help finding resources to respond to her daughter and told him she wanted to be connected to a counselor or social worker.

"They didn't let me," she said.

"When something like this happens, God forbid it does, but when it does, you would hope that there are systems in place that would respond and protect your daughter?" asked 7NEWS Investigative Reporter Amanda Kost.

"Exactly," said the mother.

"Is that what you have experienced?" Kost asked.

"Not at all. Not all. They're doing nothing for my daughter," she answered.

Adams 12 Five Star District policy is for schools to complete internal investigations before notifying police or social services.

7NEWS has learned Principal Knapp never called police or social services.

"They have failed us, completely," said the mother.

7NEWS spoke to Joe Ferdani, Adams 12 communications director, about the alleged incident.

"The mother is telling us that the school system has failed her. Do you have  a response to that?" asked Kost.

"That's unfortunate. Our staff takes very seriously the safety of students, of all students," said Ferdani.

The mother said her daughter is too scared to return to school, where the alleged perpetrator is a student in her first grade classroom.  She said the principal's "Safety Plan" for her daughter was to allow her to use the restroom in the nurse's office.

"If there are other safety concerns where a child is not feeling safe, or concerns about where a child may have learned something that's not age appropriate, then I would definitely think that further investigation is warranted," said Jodi Byrnes with Denver Children's Advocacy Center.

Byrnes worked for 12 years as a senior social caseworker. She is a licensed professional counselor and is the director of the Forensic Interview Program at DCAC and provides help for child victims.

"We have the knowledge to share with parents and help them get through as well," said Byrnes.

The Westminster Police investigation hit a dead end because the accused perpetrator is 6 years old. In Colorado, children younger than 10 cannot be criminally charged.

"Children under 10 cannot be criminally charged, and so if there are still safety concerns, definitely that calls for further investigation," said Byrnes.

"Are there gaps in responding to alleged sexual trauma between young children?" asked Kost.

"There shouldn't be gaps. We should be able to be very present in the community, the schools to help parents and guide them through the system, so they don't hit those gaps," said Byrnes.

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