Principal Takes the Stand in Day 2 of Charter School Sex Assault Trial - NBC 6 South Florida

Principal Takes the Stand in Day 2 of Charter School Sex Assault Trial



    The trial of a boy's alleged sexual abuse at a Miami charter school continued in court Friday. NBC 6’s Ari Odzer reports. (Published Friday, April 4, 2014)

    A charter school principal took the stand on Friday and said she did everything by the book when she heard that one of her students was allegedly raped by another.

    In the trial of John Doe vs. Charter School USA, Principal Rebecca Dinda described to the jury how she alerted all the teachers to keep the alleged victim apart from the alleged perpetrator as soon as she heard about the rape.

    "I let her know that if this occurred, then this is against the law and we have to call the police and DCF for an investigation,” said Dinda, referring to a conversation she had with the alleged victim’s mother.

    The seven-year-old boy accused an 11-year-old boy of forcing him to perform oral sex in the back seat of a school van. The younger boy first told his mother about the alleged assault in November 2011. Dinda said the boy told her that he was also bullied by the boy who raped him.

    The jury heard from the van's driver, who said he never noticed any bullying, and never saw the alleged sexual assault. But he admitted he does not have a clear view of the back seat in his rear-view mirror.

    The boy has also alleged that the older boy assaulted him twice in a school bathroom, an accusation that the school strongly disputes.

    The defense on Friday showed pictures and diagrams of the school's layout, pointing out that fifth graders are never allowed to use the same bathroom used by the second graders.

    Dinda said she was shocked to hear about the bathroom allegation, and first learned of it only after the hospital informed her that alleged victim was hospitalized for psychiatric treatment.

    The boy's family filed the lawsuit in 2012. The jury will likely hear from the mother on Monday.

    The lawsuit is asking for $25 million in damages.