Special needs girl reports rape at school and cover up by district

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EAST ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI)-- Police are investigating a reported rape of a special needs girl at East St. Louis High School.

The girl says she was dragged from a classroom and taken to another boy who was hiding in a closet.

Surveillance video reportedly shows the 16-year-old girl dragged into a storage closet.  The victim`s family said District 189 tried to use that video against them, reportedly claiming the video shows the girl wanted it.

The girl reported it happened during class Monday at about 2pm.  She said a boy dragged her out of class and into a storage room where another teen waited.

A family member spoke on behalf of the girl and her mother.  Jennifer Wren said the district tried to keep them from seeing surveillance video. by saying, “Oh you don’t want to see it. You don’t want to see the way she was acting on the tape you know, no mother would want to see their child acting like that.”

Reporter Chris Hayes asked, “like it was her fault?"

Wren answered, "Yeah, like it was her fault."

She added that the District even reported to police that Mom didn`t want to talk.  Wren said, "They told police she didn’t want to prosecute. Well the police man said it was on his heart and in his mind, he kept thinking about it, like why wouldn’t she want to prosecute? So they reached out to her and she said, well the school told me it was my daughter who had the misbehaving."

Once it was clear to police that the family wanted to speak, things changed.

Chief Michael Floore Sr.  said, "(My officer) did review the tape and I’m not clear on all what he saw, but he did review the tape... and after reviewing the tape, he made some arrests on the belief that something may have happened."

Prosecutors have not charged the teens at this time.

FOX 2 first asked for answers from the District at 10 am Thursday morning, then at 11:30, I walked into the school with the family.

East St. Louis High School ordered us off the property and told the family it no longer has the surveillance tape.  A representative recommended they try Central Offices.  So the family went to Central Offices where an administrator said he didn`t know the location of the tape and he did not believe police had a copy.

The family then met with police who assured everyone they`ll get the tape and properly investigate.

The family feels like they`re hearing more from one of the suspects than the school. A reported suspect sent the victim this Facebook message prior to his arrest.  (Sic) "YHU TOLD ON ME... CUSS MR .C BERRY JUST TOLD MISS SHEBLY MII (EXPLETIVE) NAME..."

Not only does the girls say a teen dragged out of class, but she says he walked in from another classroom.  The victim reports the teacher remained in the classroom.  She added that the teacher was overseeing a class of 6 special needs kids at the time.

After our initial report, a District 189 representative called to say there is no cover up.  She said administrators are responding to the reported rape appropriately.

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