CV NEWS FEED // A 12-year-old girl was allegedly raped last year by a male permitted to use the girls’ bathroom in an elementary school in New Mexico.
Ray*, now age 13, said her elementary charter school in Rio Rancho, ASK Academy, welcomed “transgender” pupils to use any toilet or locker area. Ray said she was often forced to use the school girls’ bathrooms alongside boys, which lowered her defenses.
In October 2021, Ray was violently assaulted by a male in the girls’ bathroom at ASK Academy.
She explained that before the assault, staff urged her to tolerate males in women’s places, remain quiet about her discomfort, and not “judge” “transgender” people.
“A lot of the natural instincts, those emotions, those kinds of barriers or protective like walls that I had up, that school made it feel like those were bad,” Ray said.
After stumbling upon Ray’s journal on April 11, 2022, her mother Maggie* found the reason for her daughter’s recent mental health difficulties: “I was raped. I was raped. I was raped. F*cking kill me,” the entry said.
After talking with her daughter, Maggie promptly reported the rape to local police, and a later physical exam showed evidence of an assault. Though Ray did not remember much of what her attacker looked like beyond his long hair, she recalled his face in “nightmares,” and her mother found a picture her daughter had circled in her school yearbook of a male matching the description.
Maggie also learned that other students have made accusations against the suspect, though the police have not made an arrest. Maggie says she believes neither the police department nor the school have gone over the security footage near the location and time of Ray’s attack. The police also told Maggie that staffing difficulties have slowed the investigation.
By Spring 2022, Maggie said that four ASK Academy employees, including two top administrators, had resigned.
“They’re afraid of our case,” said Maggie. “They know what’s coming.”
Maggie intends to sue the school. She believes the school’s “inclusive” bathroom policy was the reason her daughter was assaulted.
“By them saying the only thing that matters is how they feel and not how I feel, is very selfish of them,” said Ray. “If they want their own bathroom, then gladly get your own bathroom… If you want to be included, be included in a way that doesn’t cause danger to everyone else.”
Maggie agreed. “I just want people to hear us because it feels like parents aren’t paying attention, aren’t taking action, or don’t want to open their eyes to what’s happening,” she said:
We had a nearly perfect life before this trauma. We grieve the loss of her innocence, safety, and how things were before she was assaulted… She’s just a baby. No parent, no child, deserves this unimaginable pain and lack of justice. Instead, our legislative session wrapped up with the governor signing numerous bills that remove parents’ rights to protect their own children and allow the schools to put (our) daughters in danger.
“We have fought very hard to get our life back and survive this,” Maggie added. “It nearly took her life and mine. It leaves you feeling hopeless and isolated, like a failure as a parent to not have known or not have been able to prevent it.”
Ray now avoids using public bathrooms alone. Her parents are homeschooling her and her other sisters. She is on medication for anxiety and depression, keeps a knife nearby when she is home alone, and sleeps next to her family’s large dog.
“We will never be the same,” Maggie said.
Ray’s full story can be read here.
*Ray and Maggie spoke under pseudonyms to protect their identities and the integrity of the ongoing criminal inquiry.