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Tuesday, June 18
The Indiana Daily Student

opinion letters

LETTER: BPD sweeping a sexual assault under the rug

Did you know that Bloomington’s police department will not investigate an incident if it occurred outside of city limits, regardless of how serious the alleged crime? True story.

My minor daughter is a high school student here in Bloomington. She was on an out-of-state school field trip recently.

During their stay, the kids stayed in co-ed cabins and the 10 adult chaperones stayed in their own cabin. One night, my daughter was sexually assaulted by a fellow student. She pretended to sleep through the experience, afraid and unsure of what to do. She did not tell anyone until a fellow student confided that it also happened to her.

At that point they decided to tell a teacher. The accused 18-year-old student was sent home early.

The school notified the parents of both girls, but did not report the incident to authorities. To add insult to injury, one of the teachers told a parent that she believed the girls had made the story up. I called BPD, explained the situation, and was told to come in with my minor daughter to make the report.

However, when I arrived at the police station with my daughter, I was told that they could not take my report as the incident happened in another jurisdiction; I would have to make the report there.

BPD will not take my report of a sexual assault that happened to my child, a Bloomington resident, by another Bloomington resident, in the context of a Bloomington school field trip, because it didn’t happen in Bloomington.

I ask of you, if you are reading this: What if it were your child?

I contacted the local police department where the incident occurred and they advised that I couldn’t make a sexual assault report over the phone. I cannot believe this is going to get swept under the rug.

I can’t tell if I’m more angry with the school for letting this happen and for failing to report, the Bloomington police for failing to provide any assistance, or the 18-year-old student who sexually assaulted my daughter.

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