Third Graders Accused Of Attempted Sexual Assault

A shocking incident in a school yard has parents asking where was the adult supervision. It was an attempted sexual assault in February involving four nine-year-olds.

According to police reports and the victim's attorney, the February 13th incident happened on the playground at Belvedere Elementary School at 37th and Curtis Ave. in Omaha.

Brian Jorde, the attorney representing the victim's family, says the incident happened behind playground equipment, out of sight of the one teacher's assistant who was on recess duty.

"This was three boys against one girl," Jorde said. "One holding each arm. One with a hand over her mouth so she couldn't be heard. And the other one straddled on top of her trying to take her shirt off."
The three boys and the victim are all third graders.

The victim got a bloody nose while struggling to get loose. Jorde says fellow students saw it happening and were able to stop the attack.
But the victim's parents say they didn't find out about what happened to their daughter until nearly five hours later and called police themselves that evening.

"We're looking more at the school district," said Jorde. "The amount of personnel that should be supervising 50 or more students in a large open area. The reporting requirements. Why did it take so long for the police to be notified."

Sue Michalksi, who is board president for Respect, an organization that works to reduce bullying and sexual violence, wonders where these nine-year-old suspects would even get the idea for such an act.

"Have they been victimized?," asks Michalski. "Have they been in positions where they are acting out something that they've already seen? I hope not. But that certainly is a possibility."

The victim has moved to a different OPS school.

Omaha Public Schools spokesman Dave Patton said he could not comment on the case because it is still under investigation.

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