Exclusive: Providence Schools Investigating Alleged Sexual Assault

Nov 13, 2013

Providence public school officials are investigating how an elementary school student was allowed to go home with a man who is now accused of sexually assaulting her.

The incident occurred last week at Asa Messer Elementary School. Providence Superintendent of Schools Susan Lusi says a student was allowed to leave the school with a man, who was known to staff and had been seen multiple times with the girl and her family. However, the man was not on the list of people allowed to take the girl home. After they left the school, the man allegedly assaulted the student.

Lusi says the school department is looking into whether disciplinary action is warranted for the employee who allowed the girl to leave with him.

"This is every educator and parent’s worst nightmare," Lusi said. "We just have to be ever-vigilant for the safety of our students and we take that extremely seriously."

Providence police have been investigating the alleged sexual assault. The school district says it is reminding all schools to review and follow dismissal policies. The district declined to give specific information about the girl's age or grade, citing concerns about protecting her privacy.