Prosecution To Investigate Alleged Sexual Abuse Of Girl With AutismSociety | October 8, 2014, Wednesday // 17:36| views
The 4-th School for children with special needs in Sofia, where the alleged sexual abuse took place. Photo: BGNES
Bulgaria's prosecution office launches an investigation for sexual abuse in the case with a 13-year-old girl with autism, said Stefan Milev of the Sofia Regional Prosecution, quoted by BTA.
The investigation is against an unidentified perpetrator.
According to Milev, the investigators interviewed the entire staff of the school where the alleged incident happened, gathered medical documentation about the girl and confiscated the tapes of the CCTV in the school.
Milev added that the girl will be psychologically evaluated and will be decided if she is fit to testify.
“Right now the investigation is based on “word against word”,” Milev said. “On one side we have the claims of the girl's parents, on the other – the words of the school staff and headmistress.”
The case with the 13-year-old girl gained publicity when her mother told her story on Facebook on October 7 and was picked up by the national media.
According to the mother Radosveta Simeonova, on September 19 her daughter came back from the school for children with special needs she started attending this year without her bra. In Simeonova's words this struck her as strange as her daughter cannot take it off by herself.
The parents went to the school to look for the underwear and found it on top of the cupboards in a classroom. Neither the teachers, nor the headmistress or the other staff could explain how the girl took off her bra or how it ended up on the cupboards. Instead, the school staff “gave evasive answers” and tried to blame the girl for the incident.
According to the mother, after that day her daughter started acting very strange, did not want to leave the house or take off her clothes off to take a shower.
“On September 27, when I tried to bathe my daughter, she started screaming that she will be a good girl and not to let “the bad uncle touch her”, the Simeonova said. “When I asked her where he touched her, she showed me her breasts. Then, on the next day, after considerable persuasion, I went into the shower with my daughter. She asked me to take care of her and not let “the teacher” touch her and pointed below. She started screaming that she will be a good girl and will put on her panties... the uncle said it would hurt and then told her to put on her panties.”
The alarmed parents went back to the school and filed complaints with the police, the prosecution, the Education Ministry and the Child Protection Agency, but their concerns initially remained unheeded.
After the national media picked up the story, the Education Ministry called in a press conference, at which the deputy minister Vanya Kastreva tried to blame the child and her family for the entire incident. According to Kastreva, the father said his daughter “had the habit to take her clothes off and expose herself” and that the mother was prone to complaining from various things.
According to Krastreva, quoted by the Darik national radio, the school that the girl was attending, was exemplary and there have never been such cases in it.
The father, Rosen Simeonov, told Nova TV that his daughter does not take her clothes off by herself, but sometimes takes off her socks when she was nervous and denied telling the school staff that his daughter liked to expose herself.
“Our daughter told us that this uncle took her clothes off, touched her breasts, touched her below...”, Simeonov told the TV channel. “What can I say? I just want them to do their job. I want this person to be found, I want justice. This person should not be in this school. There are other children there.”
One of the teachers in the school, Sonya Milcheva, told the bTV national channel that the school carried out an internal investigation and did not find anything out of the ordinary. “For us there is no accident, because we don't know if the pupil was wearing this bra, or it was somewhere in her pockets, or I don't know where,” she said.
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