A 10-year-old has been charged with fourth-degree sex offense and second-degree assault for an incident at a Maryland elementary school, the Charles County Sheriff’s Office confirmed.
Three fourth-grade girls said three boys attacked them on the Gale-Bailey Elementary School playground on Oct. 29, two parents told News4.
The father of one girl said his daughter is traumatized by the attack.
U.S. & World
Stories that affect your life across the U.S. and around the world.
"They told her that they were going to rape her, that they were going to f--- her hard, and then they simulated that over her clothes," he said.
News4 agreed not to identify him because he wanted to protect his daughter.
The little girl has been afraid to go back to school for weeks, her father said.
"To see her come home and not want to go back to school, to not have that glow and that smile that we know she has — it’s been extinguished for now," he said.
Charles County Public Schools said the incident occurred as the children were playing tag. The district said one of the boys said sexually inappropriate things and made sexually inappropriate motions toward girls.
One boy wrapped his arms around a girl, the district said.
The girls reported the behavior to a teacher, and the boys and girls made written statements about it, the school system said. A school resource officer and school staff started an investigation Oct. 30.
The principal disciplined the students to the level of their involvement per the school system’s code of student conduct, the school system said.
The father who spoke to News4 said when the girls first reported the incident, the school only offered to move the boys’ seats to the other side of the classroom.
“I said that’s not acceptable for somebody that threatened my daughter with rape,” he said. “She stays up at night. She cries herself to sleep. My wife and I are taking turns staying with her.”
He also said he's unhappy the school didn’t notify parents. Other parents told News4 they heard about the incident from each other.
"I was very disappointed that the school did not notify us of the incident that took place here," parent Marian Toroaka said. "We just need to know it happened so that we can take the precautions to keep our kids safe."
The 10-year-old is not in custody, according to the sheriff’s office.
The parents of the three girls are filing a civil suit against the school system, saying they hope to create change that will prevent something like this happening again.