Families in West Memphis school rape allegation speak out
(West Memphis, Arkansas) – “It’s been a hard thing for us, so hard and unbelievable,” says a distraught aunt who is brought to tears over what happened to her 15-year-old nephew in a bathroom at West Memphis High School last month.
The child she has raised as a son told her he had been raped by three other boys .
The special education student, says he told school administrators but they told him to go back to class and it will be handled the next morning.
West Memphis High School Principal Jon Collins says the victim only told them the boys tried to take his money.
“On the outset we were not dealing with a sexual assault. We were dealing with three special education kids in a restroom that were skipping class,” says Collins.
He says police later told him about the rape claim and the school immediately began to work with police on the case.
The principal says all the students are in special education and their parents were contacted, but the school chose not to alert the rest of the parents at the high school.
Marry McVay is the guardian and aunt of 15-year-old suspect Orlando Hamilton. She says the school never told her about the accusations against her nephew, but she was contacted by police.
She said her nephew wasn’t involved.
“He was telling me he didn’t do anything. He didn’t touch the boy or nothing like that. All he tried to do was help the boy,” says McVay.
“They all just need help. My nephew, the victim, the children who done this. They need help,” says the aunt of the victim.
The three suspects, 17-year-old Kenneth Bedford, 16-year-old Terrence Jones and 15-year-old Orlando Hamilton, are in alternative school and will be in court April 29.
The victim is now being home schooled.
One school board member says the board was not told about the rape allegation, but Principal Collins says the superintendent’s office was informed.
Now they are going over policies to see if changes are needed.