The mother of a 7-year-old boy who was allegedly sexually abused while a student at Downtown Miami Charter School told the court Monday her child was happy until the first incident took place.
The testimony is part of a $25 million lawsuit filed by the family against the charter school. The mother, whose name is not being revealed, said when her second-grade son got off the private bus one day, “he looked terrified.”
He "whispered to me that while he was on the bus, that someone made him do something nasty,” the the mother said in court. “I found out from [him] that he was made to perform oral sex on another student." The other student "was basically telling him what to do, how to do it, and basically [the victim] did it out of fear of retaliation.”
The boy’s mother said she went to police and the school the next day to tell them what happened. She said her son had become “traumatized,” saying the situation was “embarrassing and that is a lot for a young child.”
The mom said her son twice attempted suicide.
“He just said, ‘In order to not have that burden on me, I would rather just kill myself and just be done with everything,” the mother said.
The principal, Rebecca Dinda, said she questioned all of the students in the van and none saw anything happen. She admitted the accused offender had a history of acting out sexually inappropriately, and had been suspended after one incident.
The alleged victim’s mother said Principal Dinda, “promised” her that she would keep the boys separated at school.
“The principal assured me that that’s what she would do,” the alleged victim’s mother told the court Monday.
The alleged victim said the older boy, a fifth-grader, allegedly assaulted the seven-year-old twice in a restroom at the charter school. The principal said last week the restroom where the 7-year old victim claims to have been sexually assaulted twice is “always” monitored by a staff member during the breakfast time when the boy said the assaults occurred.
She testified that the door to the restroom is always open and that fifth graders aren’t allowed to use the ground floor restroom.
“The person on that post would have told him to go upstairs,” Dinda said.
The alleged victim’s attorney asked Dinda last week why she didn’t remove “the sexual predator” from the school after the 7-year-old brought his original allegation.
“There was an allegation of a sexual assault. I had no proof,” Dinda replied. She noted, too that the State Attorney did not pursue a criminal case.
The defense is expected to try to show that the boy was delusional and was disturbed because he had a father in prison, lost his sister to an accident and that he fabricated the entire story.