Girl: Sex case alerts ignored - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Local News

Girl: Sex case alerts ignored

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Posted: Wednesday, February 14, 2007 4:56 am | Updated: 7:37 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

Higley High School’s band director ignored warnings last year about a band assistant accused of sexually assaulting a girl on campus, the alleged victim told police in a report released Tuesday.

The girl said she and another student came forward last year and told their band director, Daniel Orrantia, that band assistant Jeremy Calvert had sent them inappropriate text messages. The second student said Calvert, 20, sent her a text message that she looked good and asked her on a date.

The girl who accused him of rape said there was “no consequence” for the text messages because Orrantia believed his assistant over the students.

The band director later told his principal that he was never told about the text messages, the report shows.

Calvert also told police that Orrantia was notified of the text messages. But Calvert said the messages were simply an effort to make friends with the students.

Calvert was arrested Jan. 9 in connection with the Nov. 29 incident, in which he is accused of raping and sodomizing a 15-year-old girl in a band practice room during a private drum lesson.

The district’s attorney, Denise Lowell-Britt, said last month the incident didn’t occur during the school day or an official school-sanctioned activity.

Calvert is in Maricopa County’s Fourth Avenue Jail without bond. His next court hearing is March 6.

Higley Unified School District spokeswoman Christy Stevens did not return calls for comment. But superintendent Joyce Lutrey defended the band director, who has been accused of failing to supervise his assistant.

“Danny is a great teacher,” Lutrey said. “He is not under suspension, not under accusation and not under a shadow of any kind.” Lutrey said she had not yet read the police report and was unfamiliar with Calvert’s charges.

Following Calvert’s arrest, school officials said Orrantia would be investigated to determine why he left the assistant alone with the girl. Orrantia did not respond to a police request for an interview, the report shows.

The report says Calvert told investigators two female classmates accused him of sexual assault when he was a student at Gilbert High School. The alleged victims never called police after the incidents.

“It’s about time he got caught,” one of the women said in the report. The other woman said Calvert asked her, “How can you say no to something you’ve never tried?” before “coaxing” and “pushing” her to have sex with him at a park. The assault victim at Higley High School told police that sexual harassment started about a month before the rape took place, when Calvert sent her sexually explicit text messages.

The girl said Calvert sent illicit pictures and requested that she send pictures of herself in return. She said he also asked if she would have sex with him.

The girl told police the messages were “out of hand.” She said she asked Calvert to stop because he had a girlfriend and was her drum instructor. She said she was relieved when Calvert responded, “I don’t want to make you do anything you don’t want to do.”

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