A 13-year-old boy with Down’s syndrome was raped by a staff member at a special needs school in South Africa, it is alleged. The teenager was allegedly locked in a classroom and attacked in East Rand, near Johannesburg, on August 5.
The boy’s mother said he had come home smelling and acting strangely and said she found evidence of an attack on the youngster’s clothes.
The man had threatened to kill the boy if he told his mother what had happened, the teenager claims, according to Sowetan Live.
The boy and his school have not been identified and the suspected attacker has also not been named. His mother 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. The man claimed the boy was ‘probably asleep in one of the classrooms’ and proceeded to ‘find’ the teenager almost immediately.
After they left, the mother’s concerns grew deeper when her son started ‘acting strangely’ and appeared to have been crying. When she examined his underwear, she allegedly found signs of an attack and said she felt ‘shocked and horrified’.
The boy then recounted what had allegedly happened, saying he had been attacked while his mother searched for him. School officials told local media that the suspect had been suspended pending an investigation. Police said they were investigating rape but had not yet made any arrests.
Down’s syndrome is a genetic condition that typically causes some degree of learning disability. It is caused by an extra chromosome in a baby’s cell due to a genetic change in the sperm or egg.
People with Down’s syndrome are also at greater risk of health complications such as heart disorders, hearing problems, thyroid issues and recurrent infections.