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Teen Sexual Assault Victim Speaks Out At Croton School Board Meeting

Members of the Croton-Harmon Board of Education.
Members of the Croton-Harmon Board of Education. Photo Credit: File

CROTON-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. -- A 14-year-old who said she was sexually assaulted by two teenage boys at a party in Yorktown a month and a half ago accused the Croton-Harmon Board of Education of not doing enough to prevent the bullying she said she's been subjected to since she came forward.

The girl, whose name is being withheld by Daily Voice, spoke at a Dec. 1 board meeting, accompanied by her parents and said she has been forced to be home schooled due to numerous threats she received. While fighting back tears, she said the boys being allowed back in school while she is forced to stay at home sends the wrong message.

"My life has been turned completely upside down," the girl said. "The incident itself has been very traumatizing and horrific. In school, it's much worse. I've been victimized even further. As a 14-year-old girl, there's just so much I can take."

The girl told Yorktown Police she was sexually attacked at a party, said Yorktown Police Lt. Tom Genter.

Two of the teens were charged as minors with juvenile delinquency, and as a result, their names have not been released. They were not hit with stiffer charges because of their age and the fact that the attack did not qualify as first-degree rape, according to the Westchester County District Attorney's Office.

The case is being handled in family court.

The girl said the bullying, threatening and harassment happened within 24 hours of her accusation. While the two boys assaulted her, the girl said another acted as an accessory.

"Every night is a sleepless night and the following morning I am confused and frustrated as the day before," the girl said. "I feel even more unsafe going anywhere local in Croton in fear of seeing classmates I have been threatened by."

By allowing the boys back into school, the girl said it made it look like she was a liar and they did nothing wrong.

"The boys who have put me through this are still in school and I am not," she said. "It doesn't sound right. Letting them come back to school gave them the opportunity to tell a false story that was way out of whack just so they could turn everyone against me.

She said a student texted her telling her she's the most hated person in school and it's not worth coming back.

"This is disgusting and I'm not going to stand for it," the girl said. "I also got threats saying if she comes back to school, I'm going to beat her up. If you told me I was going back to school tomorrow, I would laugh and say no I’m not. This is not because I’m not mentally prepared but because I could not be in the same building knowing that these three boys who put me through hell and back are there when they don’t deserve to be."

After she spoke, other residents stepped up to offer their support and to chastise the district for not doing more, with some fighting back tears.

"We all know we live in a world that's hostile to people who report sexual assault," Eileen Davis said. "I reach out to you to have a little bravery like she just showed. Fear creates inaction and it sends the student a message that the accused are supported and the accuser needs to be quiet, take one for the team and go away."

Megan Dyer said she is flabbergasted by the lack of response from the school district.

"We don’t even know what to say to each other about it," Dyer said. "No one knows what to do, no one in charge is doing anything about it. It’s more than disturbing, it’s terrifying."

Citing federal privacy law, the district has not commented on whether the accused students are in school, according to lohud.com.

On Nov. 21, Superintendent Edward Fuhrman issued a statement saying that bullying will not be tolerated.

"We want to assure our students and community that the Croton-Harmon District values the human dignity of each student," Fuhrman said. "It is together as a community -- students, parents, educational staff and residents—that we fulfill our mission of fostering a climate of mutual respect and setting high moral and academic expectations."

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