The Pitt County District Attorney's Office says there will be no charges in the case of an alleged rape at a Pitt County school.
Assistant District Attorney Jay Saunders made the decision earlier this week, saying there is not enough evidence to prove or support a sexual assault charge. He said something did happen, but they don't have the evidence to pinpoint where it occurred, when it happened, and who was the perpetrator.
The decision comes a week after the NAACP said the case was not properly looked into and called for a formal investigation.
The Pitt County Sheriff's Office began looking into allegations that the 7-year-old girl was sexually assaulted at Pactolus Elementary School on May 28th by another student.
Deputies say they were alerted to the possible crime a week after it allegedly happened by the school's principal when they learned of it as well.
The father of the victim has spoken out at two news conferences, saying an older student attacked his daughter in a school restroom.
The NAACP is calling for an investigation that allegations of a young girl sexually assaulted at a Pitt County school were not investigated properly.
The NAACP says they are responding to "an incompetent and half-hearted report from the Pitt County Sheriff's Office" about the case involving the 7-year-old alleged victim.
Officials say they were informed no criminal charges would be filed.
However, a statement to WITN from District Attorney Kimberly Robb calls that claim into question. Robb wrote in an email, "We have a protocol in place in our office for review of all allegations of this type. We have used it since the early 90's. An ADA screens the cases and after the investigation is complete, the same ADA makes a charging decision. Jay Saunders is the ADA who began the screening process last week. He asked for a few follow-up investigative items. He is on vacation this week, and as such, does not have the results of the latest request. He will return on Monday and will subsequently make a decision regarding whether or not to charge."
The Pitt County Sheriff's Office released this statement:
"The allegations against the Pitt County Sheriff's Office are completely false. At this point we have investigated every lead that we have had to make a determination as to the allegation in this case. We have gone as far as we can go. At this point it has been turned over to the District Attorney's office per the Pitt County Sexual Assault Protocol."
The NAACP held a previous news conference back in June asking for a speedy resolution to the case. At the time, the Pitt County Sheriff's office told us they had been investigating the allegations at Pactolus Elementary School since being notified a week after the May 28th incident.
Pitt County Schools said in a previous statement that they were first notified of the alleged rape June 5th by law enforcement and have cooperated with authorities, and provided them with surveillance video from the school.
The school system released another statement after the NAACP news conference: "Since the very first day we heard about the allegation at Pactolus, the district has worked diligently with law enforcement to help them gather all of the information they needed. There are more than 23,000 students in the Pitt County school system and our district values the safety and well-being of every one of them."
The father of an alleged rape victim spoke out at a news conference this morning, saying an older student attacked his daughter in a school restroom.
The Pitt County NAACP chapter held the news conference asking for a speedy resolution into the case at Pactolus Elementary School.
WITN is not identifying the father, as that would also identify the 7-year-old victim.
The Pitt County Sheriff's Office has been investigating the allegations at Pactolus since it was notified a week after the May 28th incident.
Thursday afternoon, Pitt County Schools released a statement saying they were first notified of the alleged rape on June 5th by law enforcement.
It says they have cooperated with authorities, and even provided them with camera footage at the school.
So far no arrests have been made.
Pitt County Schools Statement Regarding Alleged Assault at Pactolus
First and foremost, it should be noted that Pitt County Schools values the safety and well-being of all students. Allegations as serious as those that have been made regarding a student at Pactolus always have been and will be handled with urgency and great concern.
It is important to note in this case that Pitt County Schools was first notified of this alleged incident on June 5. The school principal was told by law enforcement at that time. Since then, school officials have spent hours with law enforcement and cooperated fully with their investigation in myriad ways, including, but not limited to, the distribution of camera footage at the school and multiple interviews.
Due to privacy laws, we are limited in the information we can share publicly. It is critical that we respect the rights of everyone involved in this accusation and allow for due process. Until there is a resolution, we will continue to cooperate fully in any way we can. Once law enforcement has completed its investigation, we will follow up with the enforcement of our student code of conduct if applicable. Thanks for your understanding.
The Pitt County Sheriff's Office says an elementary school student claimed she is a victim of a sexual assault on school grounds by another student.
Investigators say the child, who authorities say could be as young as 7-years-old, alleges she was assaulted May 28th at Pactolus Elementary School in Pitt County. The Sheriff's office says it got word a week later.
Investigators say the child claims another student sexually assaulted her while inside the school, but they're still trying to determine if there was a crime committed, which is why an arrest has not been made.
"This particular incident is one of those cases that due process needs to happen not only for the victim, but the people accused. We don't want to wrongly jump to a conclusion.' said Captain Paula Dance.
The school district says they are aware of the claims and have turned over all information to the sheriff's office. We're told there are video cameras inside the school and detectives have looked over those tapes, but would not say what they've found, if anything.