Thursday, October 23, 2014

NBC12 Richmond Virginia: Grandmother Wants 6 year old Girl Criminally Charged for Sexual Assault on School Bus. Legal Analyst Steve Benjamin says, “A Criminal Prosecution of a Six-year-old Would be Absolutely Pointless, and it's Also Equally Absurd to Call a 6-year-old a Sexual Predator”

6-year-old allegedly sexually assaulted on Richmond School bus
Reporter Chris Thomas

Richmond school officials are investigating a report of a six-year-old allegedly sexually assaulted on a school bus by another student. 

The mother of the alleged victim says her daughter came home from school screaming and crying. She could not believe her ears, and now wants criminal charges against the suspect, a six-year-old student at J.E.B. Stuart Elementary School. 

“'I'm so sorry it happened.' I heard that 50 million times,” the alleged victim's mother, Whitney Couser. said. “Why are you pulling panties down? You shouldn't be pulling another child's panties down at all.” 

Couser claims the female student placed her head between the young child's legs and allegedly engaged in a sex act. 

“That broke my heart,” Couser said. “And then I found out it was another little girl, and the girl is in the same class. So, we are talking about a little girl that knows so much details to commit a sexual act.” 

School officials say the bus driver had no idea anything was taking place. The victim has since moved to a different bus route and the two no longer share classes together, but family members say that's not enough. 

“Counseling should have been provided for her, both my granddaughters and any other witnesses. Because those are little babies watching this," Cheryl Tolliver, the victim's grandmother, said. "Where did this six-year-old get this from?” 

“As always, the safety and well-being of our students is our top priority,” reads a statement from leaders at the school. They say disciplinary actions have taken place, but family members are pushing for criminal charges against the student. 

“What she did was manipulating. What she did was controlling, and that all falls in the line of a sexual predator and I don't care how young you are,” Tolliver said. 

“A criminal prosecution of a six-year-old would be absolutely pointless, and it's also equally absurd to call a 6-year-old a sexual predator,” said NBC12 legal analyst Steve Benjamin. “More important is that that type of conduct, might -- and I emphasize might -- indicate that there is a condition at home causing this kind of conduct and acting out that should be investigated." 

“If this can happen to my child, it can happen to anybody's child," warns Couser. "It could be the next person's child, and I want it to end now.”

The school says no disciplinary action has been taken against the bus driver. They would not say how that young student was disciplined.