Assault of boy by man who jumped fence at local school reported
By Peggy Kelly
Santa Paula Police Department
Published: December 19, 2012
Santa Paula Police are investigating a report that a young boy was sexually molested last month by a man who jumped the fence at McKevett Elementary School and then ran off, an alleged incident a district official said is being closely monitored.
According to Det. John Coffelt, police were dispatched December 5 to the Santa Paula Hospital Emergency Room regarding a possible sexual assault victim. The victim, an 8-year-old male, “alleged an unknown Hispanic male” jumped the fence at the school and sexually assaulted him.
The suspect was described as 5’10”, 150 pounds, slender build, short hair, and wearing a white T-shirt and blue denim shorts. “The suspect then fled the area,” heading north on 10th Street.
McKevett Elementary School is located at 955 Pleasant St. and takes up the entire block between Pleasant Street and East Virginia Terrace and 10th and Mill streets. Coffelt stated, “The incident allegedly took place” November 30 during school hours, but “for unknown reasons” was not reported until later. While questioning the boy in the Emergency Room, the victim’s mother became uncooperative with investigators.
Santa Paula Police investigators thoroughly checked the area for potential witnesses, but, Coffelt said, were unable to locate any. “Santa Paula Elementary School District officials were immediately notified of the incident and have been extremely cooperative with the investigation” that Coffelt said is ongoing.
SPESD Superintendent Dr. Paul Chounet stated although the SPPD notified the district that the third-grade student’s mother had reported a sexual assault “by a member of the public that occurred on school grounds,” up to then “neither the child nor the parent ever reported the alleged incident to the school district.” He noted that, along with the SPPD, Ventura County Child Protective Services and medical personnel have investigated the child’s report. SPESD officials are cooperating fully in the investigation and conducting their own investigation.
“The safety of our children is paramount,” and Chounet said, “Parents should feel assured that our campuses are safe environments for their students. We will continue to monitor the situation and communicate the latest information to our parents and to the public.”
Anyone with possible information relating to the incident is asked to contact Coffelt 525-4474 x 283. If the caller would prefer to remain anonymous, they can call the SPPD recorded Tip Hotline, 933-4253-1-#.
Those with information can also call Ventura County Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-TIPS (8477). Ventura County Crime Stoppers can also be contacted by texting “Busted” plus your message to CRIMES (274637). Crime Stopper Tips can also be sent via the website, www.venturacountycrimestoppers.org.
Tipsters can be eligible to receive a $1,000 reward.