Mother says 4-year-old daughter was sexually assaulted at Austin school

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AUSTIN (KXAN) — The mother of a 4-year-old girl sexually assaulted while at her south Austin school says she knew something was wrong from the moment her daughter came home.

The girl returned from Boone Elementary School on Feb. 7 with injuries on her body. “[She] sat on the toilet and had this look of hesitation on her face. She peed and then she just started screaming, ‘Mommy it hurts!’ And she just lifted her whole body off the toilet,” the mother, who does not want to be identified, said.

Her parents took her to the hospital where staff identified her injuries as the result of sexual assault by bodily force, according to the family attorney.

Austin ISD police closed the case two weeks later without getting a copy of the child’s medical records. The district police chief, Eric Mendez, said they mishandled the case. “During the investigation, we did not get a medical record that could prove to be vital in determining whether a sexual assault occurred,” Chief Mendez said. “It is an important step that we should have taken.”

The female teacher who was originally put on administrative leave during the AISD investigation is now back on administrative leave as the investigation is reopened.

The girl’s mother said she started noticing changes in her daughter since the beginning of the school year in September. A first-time mother, she wrote it off as typical toddler behavior, until the February incident.

“What I was looking at was just obvious signs of trauma that should not have been there,” the mother said. “After everything I’ve been told not to speak of it and we’re not to talk about this. I felt like they’re kind of brushing it off as if it’s nothing. I’m making a big deal out of it and they just want to shove and push it under the rug.”

She tried to contact the teacher several times in February, but the teacher never responded, the mother says. KXAN has learned the teacher has hired an attorney.

“Someone needs to be held accountable for this because this happened at school on school grounds,” the mother said. “Whether the teacher did it or not. She was under her supervision.”

The woman says she feels like she failed her daughter for sending her there. “And I feel like the school failed me 100 percent.”

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