Despite the incident being caught on camera, a young Illinois woman says police failed to press charges after a high school water polo player reportedly sexually assaulted her (video below).
“It destroyed me because he was going to get away with it,” said Rebecca Dabrowski, now a rising sophomore in college, the Daily Mail reports. “He wasn't going to learn his lesson. All I wanted was for him to go to counseling. I just want to make sure this wasn't going to happen to another woman.”
Dabrowski, who sees a therapist for depression now, says she is so traumatized she can’t even interact with men -- including her father -- anymore.
“He ripped my suit over and then had his hands wrapped around the suit and with his other fingers, went inside my vagina,” Dabrowski recalled of the male opponent who allegedly assaulted her in front of parents, coaches and teammates.
The girl was playing in a 2015 water polo match against Libertyville High School in Buffalo Grove, Illinois. She was a player for McHenry West High School’s boy’s water polo team -- the school, she explains, did not have a girls' water polo team.
Female assistant coach Natalie Schawel recalls when Dabrowski revealed that day the player “touched” her.
“I knew it meant more than he touched me in the way that you're normally touched in a game. Those are really loaded words, and she knew that when she said it,” Schawel said.
Two days later, police investigated the incident. But when the boy was questioned, he said he did not recall touching the girl inappropriately. If he had, he said, it was accidental.
Police closed the case without pressing charges against the boy, claiming they could not prove it was intentional.
The girl kept quiet until recently, when she opened about the incident to ESPN. She is now in the process of filing a Title IX complaint with the U.S. Department of Justice.
"I'm not scared, or embarrassed,” she said, reports Chicago Tribune.
“Instead of hiding behind the awkwardness and the pain, I'm going to try to help not only women, but everyone as a community try to see what sexual assault does to someone,” the young woman added. “Listen to my story tomorrow and don't be sad, be inspired to make a change."