Attorneys say LAUSD tried to discredit girl after sexual assault claim

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Attorneys for a former Los Angeles Unified School District student on Monday, Aug. 22, 2016, expressed outrage over the LAUSD's alleged attempts to discredit the girl, who said she was sexually assaulted in a bathroom at her elementary school in 2012. (KABC)

Attorneys for a former Los Angeles Unified School District student on Monday expressed outrage over the LAUSD's alleged attempts to discredit the girl, who said she was sexually assaulted in a bathroom at her elementary school in 2012.

"My peace of mind is gone. It's completely gone. I don't trust anyone anymore," said the girl's mother, who declined to be publicly identified, adding that her daughter's life will never be the same. "She gets up at 2, sometimes 3 in the morning. She'll come (and say): 'Mom, I can't sleep. Mom, I'm scared.'"

In April 2012, the then-12-year-old girl said the assault occurred at 95th Street Elementary School in South L.A. No one was ever arrested in the alleged attack, and the girl's family filed a lawsuit against the school district.

The family's lawyers held a press conference Monday outside LAUSD headquarters, where they accused the district of again traumatizing the girl.

"I believe that they embarked on a dirty campaign to trash the child, to intimidate the family to drop the lawsuit," said attorney Luis Carrillo. He said he recently obtained a report by a psychiatrist who was hired by the LAUSD to examine his client in 2015 and 2016.

The report said there was no evidence that the traumatic event occurred and that the allegations were likely made for attention-seeking purposes.

"The psychiatrist says that the child has made it all up," Carrillo said. "That's their defense."

Another of the family's attorneys, Michael Carrillo, described the report as "despicable."

"As we do in every case," the school district said in a statement, "we have treated this student with respect, and provided highly trained and experienced professionals who are specialists in their field. We understand how difficult these situations can be and, as we have said all along, we remain open to reaching a reasonable settlement with the student."

The girl's family on Monday said it had relocated to another school district and was moving forward with their lawsuit.

In 2012, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department released a composite sketch in connection with the case. The image depicted a white or Hispanic man between 20 and 30 years old. He was described as 5 feet 7 inches to 5 feet 9 inches tall, with shaggy hair and facial acne, wearing a gray sweatshirt and black pants.
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newslausdchild sex assaultsexual assaultlawsuitschoolLos AngelesLos Angeles County
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