Schools Waited Week to Report Sex Assault - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

NC5 Investigates: Stories of Abuse

Schools Waited Week to Report Sex Assault

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Don Aaron, Metro police spokesman Don Aaron, Metro police spokesman

"NewsChannel 5 Investigates" has uncovered even more questions about the sexual assault of a 9-year-old, special-education student on a Metro school bus.

Among the questions: what did school officials know about what happened to Gilbert -- and what did they do about it?

Despite questions about the sexual assault of Gilbert and another special ed student, school officials are now saying they will not release records of other sexual assaults on Metro school buses.

They point to a state law that -- they say -- keeps such records private.

The question now: could that end up covering up how they've handled cases like Gilbert's?

In a tape obtained by "NewsChannel 5 Investigates," the autistic and mildly mentally retarded boy first reveals the secret to his mother -- how a 19-year-old student on a special education bus coerced him into an act of oral sex.

"This incident occurred on Monday, May 7th," Metro police spokesman Don Aaron tells NewsChannel 5 chief investigative reporter Phil Williams.

Now, police say school transportation officials knew about it.

But, for some reason, they didn't report it for a whole week.

"It's my understanding that, when the notification was made on May 14th, it was made to child protective services and the police department almost simultaneously," Aaron says.

"And that was the first report that you are aware of?"  Williams asks.

"That's correct -- on May 14th. That's correct -- the first report to law enforcement."

Police say their investigation is continuing and charges are likely against the suspect, who has since turned 20.

Metro school officials also will not say whether the suspect will be allowed to ride a bus in the fall -- or whether any action was taken against the driver.

As to how these assaults happened and what school officials will do to protect other children, they are still refusing to answer any questions.

Watch more videos and follow the stories at NC5 Investigates: Stories of Abuse

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