The Pinal County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a report of a sexual assault on a 12-year-old girl by a classmate during school at Copper Basin Elementary School near Queen Creek.
The school, in the Florence Unified School District, has kindergarten through eighthgrade students. The girl and the 12-year-old boy reported to have assaulted her are in the sixth grade. Both children remain in the same school, the girl’s mother said.
According to a sheriff ’s office report, the assault occurred in March and was reported a couple of weeks afterward when the girl’s mother learned of it from parents of her daughter’s friends.
The girl’s mother contacted the Tribune to share her story because she is concerned about the length of the investigation, which is ongoing.
She also said she is concerned that the boy remains in school. The Tribune is not publishing the mother’s name or the daughter’s.
“My daughter was embarrassed to tell us,” she said. “I had noticed a change in her demeanor over spring break, but I just attributed it to hormones because she’s at that age.”
After talking with her daughter, the woman, who lives in Pinal County, reported the assault to the sheriff’s office on March 27.
According to the report, the girl said her classmate “told her to perform oral sex on him or he was going to beat her . . . and will continue to do it every day.”
The report also said the boy “put a towel or jacket over her head” and took her into a boys’ restroom, where he forced her to perform oral sex on him.
The girl’s mother said that after reporting the assault, she called the sheriff’s office many times to follow up on the investigation. She said she was told the detective assigned to the case was on a three-week sabbatical, and that when she finally got in touch with the detective on Wednesday, he said the case had been closed without action.
Sheriff’s spokesman Mike Minter said Thursday the matter had not been closed, and the department had multiple detectives to work on it if one was away.
The girl also spoke to the Tribune on Friday. She said she doesn’t feel protected at school. She said she fears the boy could do the same thing to others.
“Some people won’t talk to me anymore and it’s kind of freaky to go to the bathroom alone,” she said.
The Tribune also is not naming the boy.
Superintendent Richard Sagar said the district was aware of the investigation, but had turned it over to the sheriff’s office for action.
“It’s part of a criminal, not a school, matter,” he said.