FORT WORTH - The Fort Worth Police Department said Thursday it is reviewing department policy after a FOX 4 report revealed that a teenage girl's rape case was mishandled.
The Arlington Heights High School student told FOX 4, she was 15 years old when another student raped her near campus on December 2, 2015. She reported it to her school three months later after hearing from friends that her alleged attacker did the same thing to other girls.
Fort Worth ISD filed a police report, but the detective assigned to the case did nothing from there.
Police confirmed Wednesday that the department fired former detective Dennis Hutchins in July 2016 for mishandling multiple child abuse cases.
"We've discovered there were several cases where the detective dropped the ball,” said Sgt. Marc Povero. “We've done our due diligence to go back through all the cases not properly handled or mishandled and we're re-investigating those cases. This was one of them."
However, FOX 4 found that even after a new detective was assigned the case, police never called the girl's mother to tell her that her daughter's case had not been investigated by Hutchins.
“I have a minor child who was sexually assaulted and I was not told,” the mother told FOX 4. “She made a report and as a parent I could have provided her some emotional support, therapy, guidance to get through it, rather than watch her decline academically and not know what was going on."
The mother only learned that her daughter's case had fallen through the cracks after FOX 4 called Fort Worth police.
After FOX 4 story aired on Wednesday, Sgt. Marc Povero told FOX 4 in an e-mail:
"Because of this incident, our executive staff is looking at updating our general orders to require parent notification on cases such as these. Dennis Hutchins has caused us a lot of heartache and we are still dealing with the aftermath of his mishandling of cases."
The mom believes there should be a mandate that all parents are called if there is an allegation of abuse.
“It's heartbreaking to me that my daughter went through this alone,” the mom said.
Fort Worth ISD declined to comment on the case because of student privacy. The district did provide FOX 4 with its policy that states a parent is to be notified unless there is an objection, such as an allegation being made against a parent.
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