Carol City student gang rape victim’s attorney claims school police mishandled case

(WSVN) - A girl who says she experienced horror at school has been living one nightmare after another after her life — and health — were changed forever as a result. To make matters even worse, her lawyer claims school police mishandled the entire investigation. 7’s Brian Entin investigates.

It’s a horrific story we first broke last month: a ninth-grader at Carol City Senior High School says she was forced to have sex with three different boys in a school bathroom.

Teen victim: “I was going to leave, and he grabbed me by my sweater, and he held tight, and so I was going to pull and leave, and he wouldn’t let me go.”

What made the situation even worse is the girl’s family was told one of the boys may have HIV and another has gonorrhea.

Allison Hertog, attorney: “It’s a horrendous situation, a life-changing situation for this young woman.”

Attorney Allison Hertog with Coral Gables nonprofit Bridge to Excellence is now representing the 14-year-old, and she says what she has discovered about the school police investigation is disturbing.

Allison Hertog: “They just hoped it would disappear, that she would just somehow go away.”

Hertog says school police didn’t do a rape evaluation on the 14-year-old until days after she reported it.

And, she says, the officer who interviewed her was a male … and he wasn’t qualified to work on sexual assault cases.

In the victim statement, the teen wrote, “He grabbed me tightly by my hand, and he got me into the boy’s bathroom. I couldn’t breathe. I choking and crying.”

The district decided to suspend the boys and the girl from school.

Allison Hertog: “I don’t see how the school could suspend someone for a rape … It is the definition of blaming the victim.”

The Miami-Dade School District says the investigation is ongoing and that information regarding the case has been provided to the State Attorney’s Office as well as the Department of Children and Families.

Teen: “I’m getting therapy, and you know, I can’t sleep at night, sometimes, and I really hope this doesn’t happen to any other girl. This shouldn’t happen to any other girl or boy.”

After four months out of school, the ninth-grader will start at a new school on Monday.

Her attorney says she still is not sure if she contracted HIV.

Allison Hertog: “I don’t know, as a 14-year-old, if she knows the full magnitude of what that could mean. It’s very hard on her mom.”

The attorney for the girl said school police have started an internal affairs investigation to look into the way the case was handled, and she says the State Attorney General is also looking into it.

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