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Lawsuit: 8-year-old girl with Down syndrome repeatedly raped, beaten on school bus

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YAKIMA — The parents of a 8-year-old girl with Down syndrome are suing Yakima School District No. 7 for allegedly failing to stop a disabled 5th grade boy from repeatedly sexually and physically abusing the girl while the two rode a school bus.

The lawsuit, filed by the Tamaki Law Offices in Yakima, alleges the girl was repeatedly assaulted from Sept. 2013 until March of 2014. The assaults allegedly ranged in duration from several minutes to 15 minutes each, and were often filmed by a school bus camera. The suit alleges both the bus driver and the school district were negligent, and failed to supervise its students properly.

According to the lawsuit, the abuse — which occurred on a special needs bus — included, “punching, pinching, scratching, hitting, slapping” and multiple sexual assaults. The abuse was reported on March 27 when the girl arrived home with bruises and deep scratches on her face. The family notified the school, who allegedly discovered the abuse had been happening for months. The  bus driver was put on leave and the suspected perpetrator, an 11-year-old boy who also has severe disabilities, was immediately expelled.

According to police documents, the boy allegedly sat next to the victim every day. In at least one video, police said, the boy was allegedly seen manipulating the girl “like a doll,” putting her face in his lap, grabbing her crotch and kissing her.

Other children allegedly noticed the abuse, documents show, and told the boy to stop. However, he usually ignored or could not understand their requests.

The lawsuit seeks an unknown amount in damages.

The school district declined to comment on the suit when asked by the Yakima Herald:

“We don’t, as a district, respond to media requests related to active litigation,” said Jennifer Baird in the Yakima superintendent’s office. She said she would look into what action has been taken with the bus driver.

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  • ShadowWalker59

    What has happened to so many of our youth? What have they been taught? Nothing? Our world is sinking into an abyss that it will never recover from. These kinds of things are a growing cancer in our society today. Did these ‘parents’ teach these kids anything? I mean, what kind of kid would do such a thing? A home life that most certainly couldn’t be much, to have participated in such a heinous act, is almost unforgivable!

    • Disgusted

      One that is mentally disabled. Geez these particular children are not in regular school or on a regular bus for a reason. Instead of jumping on the blame the child band wagon, by the way if he’s doing this it has likely been done to him, and actually suggest like should be done but the adults involved are the ones to blame because they didn’t make sure that it didn’t happen. the adults were irresponsible and should be punished meaning the bus driver.

    • Morena

      If you read the article it say both children were extremly disabled so I think they should always have additional help on these buses besides the driver.

      • Sad world

        They are suppose to have an assist on the bus to help with the children. My child has been on the special needs buses and every special needs bus had anice assist since the drive can’t actively deal with situationso while driving. The adults are to blame 100%. They were suppose to protect the children and the parents of the girl can’t stop what they don’t know is happening. Sad that it took so long to discover but I hope they get justice.

    • AlanMMartinez

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  • Think about it i dare you

    when i see some one come on and say WE CANNOT TALK ABOUT IT BECAUSE ITS AN OPEN CASE i feel like they are in the wrong and they are cowards yakima is the butt hole of washington state along with sunny side and selah

    • Dan

      If you reread the article again you will see that it states “the school, who allegedly discovered the abuse had been happening for months”. The parents were unaware of the abuse until the young girl came home with physical injuries.

  • Robin Kiehn

    Downes Syndrome kids are very sexually active. You’re trained a little about it when you drive handicapped buses. The driver was not doing the job he was trained for. But when you pay minimum wage for jobs involving your kids safety, you get what you get.

    • lespriing

      You mean “kids with Down syndrome” not “Down syndrome kids” right? Anyway, they are no more sexually active than any other kids. (I have 6 kids who have Down syndrome ranging in age from 10-19 and am very involved with a lot of teens and adults with DS who live in our community) That said, every special education bus in the country should have two staff on it: The driver and an aid. The driver can’t be expected to deal with behavioral problems happening behind him when he/she is trying to drive the bus. Not to mention it is NOT safe for kids with special needs to be under the supervision of ONE staff person at a time in a situation like this. There should always be two, making it much less likely for a student be abused or assaulted by either another student or bus staff.

  • tired worker

    If this was being taped for months, why didn’t someone see it? and I can understand if a child pinches or even bites a child it might not be noticed once or twice but this goes way farther than just a few times. I noticed bruses on my sons arm and shoulder and ask the teacher but they had no idea how he got them , but one day he got off the bus and the driver told me that the student next to him bite my son and he the driver saw it happen. The driver reported it and the student wa taken off the bus. I will blame the driver and whoever is supposed to view those tapes.

  • kit

    They forget to tell you that the perp was Mexican and could not speak English. He was just sharing his rich colorful culture

  • WendyR

    *** I hope this little girl is getting the genuine care & protection she needs for the rest of her life. A life free of humiliation, fear & pain. Wishes for joy & successes.

    There is plenty of guilt, shame & cowardice to go around for everyone who allowed this to happen & to continue for months. She is the only innocent in all of this. The bus driver must be held accountable for his/her actions/ or lack of actions & ignoring the please of other children to stop her abuse. Her parents for not noticing the physical & mental abuse for months?

  • AprilWBingham

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  • AlanMMartinez

    >>>my co-worker’s aunt makes $71 every hour on the laptop . She has been out of work for six months but last month her payment was $17831 just working on the laptop for a few hours. go to this website>>>>> Read More

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