A Gwinnett County high school student told Channel 2 Action News on Thursday she’s trying to forget what happened to her last month at school.
But she can’t.
On Oct. 7, the student said she was raped by a 16-year-old student she didn’t know inside a bathroom at South Gwinnett High School during school hours, Channel 2 reported. The teenage boy has been charged with rape as a juvenile. AJC.com only identifies those charged as adults.
“I just wanted to use the bathroom, fill my water bottle and come back to class,” the 15-year-old said. “I do my best on my own to forget.”
The girl’s mother, who asked to remain anonymous, said the incident has turned the family’s lives upside down.
“They are supposed to go to school (and) come home safe,” she said. “This is not supposed to happen.”
The family hired private investigator Robin Martinelli, who graduated from South Gwinnett, to look into the incident and to more broadly look at sexual assaults in the school district.
“I’ve handled a lot of sexual assaults in a lot of high schools in the state of Georgia — middle schools and a few elementary schools,” Martinelli said.
Gwinnett County Public Schools said this is the second time a student has been charged in a sexual abuse case in the past two years, Channel 2 reported.
After the Oct. 7 incident, a letter was sent to parents to notify them of the alleged assault. The letter, written by Principal Dorothy Parker Jarrett, said, “I did feel it was important to notify you about this situation and to reassure you that this allegation is being taken very seriously by our school. Sexual assault has no place in our school and it is important to come forward and report a crime if it occurs.”
In addition, the student faced disciplinary action from the school, the letter said.
“This situation serves as a good time for us to remind students that if they believe they are a victim of a crime or see something inappropriate at school, that they should immediately tell an adult — either a parent, family friend, or one of our staff members,” the letter continued.
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