A 13-year-old boy (names withheld) with Down Syndrome has been raped by a member of staff at a special needs school in South Africa.
The boy was allegedly locked in a classroom by the staff member and attacked in East Rand, near Johannesburg, on August 5.
The boy’s mother, who was not named in order to protect the pupil’s identity, said he had come home smelling and acting strangely and said she found evidence of an attack on him.
She said she had grown concerned when her son was not in the usual place to be picked up from school at the end of the day.
She and two of the school teachers had spent an hour looking for him before encountering the alleged attacker.
“I was frantic when I didn’t find him where I usually pick him up,” said the mother.
“We walked around the school calling out his name but he did not respond. I was scared and confused and didn’t know where else I would look for him.”
She said the alleged attacker came running in their direction but hesitated momentarily when he saw her with the teachers.
“He wanted to stop running and panicked then slowed down and got into a walking stride before asking us what was wrong. The teacher told him that we were looking for a missing boy. He offered to help us find him, saying that my son was probably asleep in one of the classrooms,” she said.
“He went to one classroom and unlocked it. It was strange that my son came out immediately – not like someone who was asleep – but like someone who had been up and was waiting for the door to be opened. I didn’t pay much attention to it because I was happy to have found him,” she said.
The mother said she was horrified when on getting home she took off his clothes and found blood stains and semen on his underwear.
Police spokesperson Capt Ramothaki Maqwabe confirmed that a rape case was being investigated but said no arrests had been made.