San Francisco Examiner
BERKELEY, Calif. — A 12-year-old Berkeley girl who was allegedly sexually assaulted by a group of nine boys last month was supposed to get a fresh start at a new school across town.
But during lunchtime of her second day at Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School on Nov. 8, she was "conned" and led into a secluded, wooded area on campus by a 13-year-old boy and raped, Berkeley police said Thursday.
The boy was arrested a day later, but was released to his parents. Authorities now believe the girl — who according to police has a learning disability, but according to school officials is a typical student with only minor special needs — was sexually assaulted on three separate days in the past month.
News of the latest suspected attack stunned many of the more than 200 parents who attended an emotional community meeting Thursday night at Willard Middle School, where the girl started the academic year. The meeting, also attended by some students, was called to discuss the alleged group assault on Oct. 25. Police and school officials briefly mentioned that another assault had occurred at King Middle School, but did not reveal that the same girl was involved.
Berkeley police Lt. Russell Lopes said the girl was raped on the edge of King’s large campus in a "makeout spot," an opening in a wooded area that kids "crawl through, and then it opens up." He said he did not know whether the 13-year-old boy knew the girl had been a victim two weeks earlier.
The girl reported the alleged rape immediately to officials at King, Lopes said, and was treated at a local hospital. He said she is now at home, where she lives with an aunt. Her family and school officials are now considering whether to home-school the girl or allow her to return to another school, with a full-time monitor, he said.
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