UPDATE: Handicapped Girl Sexually Assaulted, and the Principle was TOO Busy to Deal With it!?!?
Mifflin incident steeped in chaos
Police want to charge 3 students in attack on 16-year-old girl
Friday, April 15, 2005
THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH
Three Mifflin High School students should face charges after an attack that has drawn national attention, Columbus police said yesterday.
Two boys should be charged with delinquency counts of rape, detective Mary C. Harrison said. A third student, an 18-year-old who videotaped the March 9 attack on a 16-year-old girl, should be charged with pandering obscenity, she said.
Detectives will make their case to Franklin County prosecutors Tuesday.
Police said spring break and conflicting stories slowed their pace, but witnesses responding to a Columbus Public Schools probe reveal a harrowing story:
It was an important day at Mifflin.
Students were taking state proficiency tests, and two members of the Downtown brass were visiting for a meeting with the principal, two assistant principals and about five teachers.
Assistant Principals Richard Watson and Vincent Clarno had been ducking in and out of the noon meeting to grapple with problems at the 800-student school on the Northeast Side.
Already that day, school administrators had investigated a report of a concealed weapon and an assault on a Somali student.
Adding to the problems, the Columbus police officer permanently stationed at Mifflin was away from the building for training. On such days, no replacement officer is sent.
At about 1:45 p.m., the meeting was disturbed by a call for help over the administrators’ walkie-talkies.
All hell had broken loose in the auditorium, and a 16-yearold, developmentally disabled girl was at the center of it. Watson and Clarno excused themselves from the meeting and joined teachers scrambling to figure out what had happened.
First-year Principal Regina Crenshaw decided to continue with the meeting, about bell schedules and curriculum......
The girl, who has a severe speech impediment, was dazed, confused and crying, Upshaw-Haider said.
In the school office, no later than 2:15 p.m., Calvario finally was having some luck getting information out of the girl:
• There were four boys.
• They grabbed her by the arm and led her behind the curtain of the auditorium stage.
• She told them to stop, but they hit her in the head and told her to be quiet.
• Two made her have oral sex.
At this point, each teacher and administrator at Mifflin who was aware of this allegation was required under Ohio law to immediately phone the police or Franklin County Children Services.
"All I could think about was (the girl’s) inability to verbally articulate her thoughts because she is so low-functioning," Upshaw-Haider wrote. "I could not get out of my mind the fact that (the girl) could not tell her side of the story, unlike those boys who were denying their involvement."