A group of North Texas high school students are working to raise awareness about rape after one student's case was ignored by a detective for months. And even after the problem came to light, her parents were never told.
The students wanted to publicly expose a problem they believe remained hidden for far too long. Early Friday morning, a group of high school students came together to support one of their own.
The Arlington Heights High School student was a 15-year-old freshman when she says she was raped and attacked by a junior student near the campus. She said the incident happened a year ago but was too ashamed and embarrassed to talk about it.
She posted her story on Instagram on Sunday, touching a nerve. It was three months after the incident that she talked to a school counselor. But feeling ashamed and scared, she never told her parents. According to her parents, the counselor never contacted them.
A school resource officer did take the report for Fort Worth police but ended up with Detective Dennis Hutchins, who has since been fired for mishandling child abuse cases. A new detective assigned to the case called the girl four months after her report. But still, there’s been no call to her parents.
“That's insanity,” her dad said. “She's a minor. Incompetence is not an excuse.”
Her father hopes his daughter's experience and the support from her friends helps other young victims feel brave enough to speak up.
The school district says it cannot comment on how the case was handled because of student privacy laws. After FOX 4 aired the story on Wednesday, the Fort Worth Police Department said it will be reviewing its procedures when it comes to notifying parents in cases like this one.