Parents criticize police’s handling of sexual assault case

Cassidy Wang, Assistant City Editor

A month after their daughter’s attack, the parents of an Evanston middle school student are demanding answers, upset with how the police have been investigating allegations of their daughter being sexually assaulted at school.

The parents said the 12-year-old girl, who attends Haven Middle School, was raped by a custodian in the bathroom on Oct. 4. DNA was found present in the girl’s clothing when a rape kit was administered.

Although District 65 is taking action to remove the custodian, the man has not been charged, according to ABC 7 Chicago. School administrators said the employee was placed on leave last month pending the outcome of the investigation.

On Tuesday, a lawyer representing the family sent a letter to Evanston officials and the Cook County state’s attorney’s office asking why no one had been charged in the incident, WGN-TV Chicago reported.

The parents, who want to know the identity of the suspect, said the police are not cooperating with them.

The Evanston Police Department released a statement that said the investigation remains pending and active, though no arrests have been made yet.

In a letter to staff and parents, the school stated they are in regular contact with EPD and the Department of Children and Family Services, who have been actively investigating the sexual assault report since last month.

“They have informed us that the investigation remains ongoing,” the statement said. “While we all want answers, we have been informed from the beginning by police that an investigation of this kind can take some time.”

The school has collaborated with police and an outside security company to review safety procedures.

The letter also said that recent news reports have falsely reported on the accused employee being “reassigned.”

“Any employee potentially involved in this reported incident was immediately placed on a leave of absence and remains on leave without access to Haven or any school in the district,” the statement said.

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