The parents of a 7-year-old special needs girl have filed a civil lawsuit against the Woodland Unified School District in California for allegedly covering up a sexual assault.
William and Emily Gutierez filed the lawsuit on Wednesday as disturbing images of the sexual assault were made public.
“She told me she had an owie, and then pointed to her private parts,” Emily told FOX40.
The photos of the alleged assault upon by the child by school bus driver Rick Allen Anderson were captured on a school bus.
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The assault took place in 2010, when the special needs child could only communicate one word at a time, one of the reasons why prosecutors in Yolo County could not file criminal charges against Anderson.
A spokesperson for the district attorney’s office said there was not enough evidence to prosecute.
Anderson was placed on administrative leave the same day the assault was reported, according to school district spokesperson Tom Pritchard.
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“I would say we wouldn’t have any incentive at all to sweep this under the carpet, because number one, our highest priority is student safety,” Pritchard said.
“As a dad, I feel like a failure,” the child’s father, William, said. “There are times where I feel she is distant from her father for a simple kiss on the cheek.”
According to a family member of Anderson, he now works for a standard bus company in Sacramento, California.