AUSTIN (KXAN) — After much back and forth on whether or not a 4-year-old girl’s alleged sexual assault case has been mishandled, the Travis County District Attorney’s Office says they do not have enough evidence that would indicate a crime occurred.
“The Travis County DA’s Office, in conjunction with the Child Protection Team, has now completed this investigation in accordance with our procedures,” District Attorney Margaret Moore said. “We find, based upon the additional medical records and expert review, there is insufficient evidence to pursue criminal charges.”
The family attorney for the girl, Paul Guinn, said that the reasoning he was presented from the DA’s Office was that the girl suffered a playground injury.
“If there was a playground injury of such severity that it required surgical intervention later that evening, we would expect that that would’ve been documented by Boone Elementary and its nurse and that the parents would’ve been notified,” Guinn said. “None of that happened.”
The child’s mother told KXAN when she picked up her daughter from Pre-K at Boone Elementary School on Feb. 7, she noticed her daughter had injuries. Once they got home, the mother says she heard the child screaming while using the bathroom, and found blood and horrible bruising on her body. Her parents took her to the hospital where staff identified her injuries were the result of sexual assault by bodily force, says the family attorney Paul Guinn.
With the information they had, and a review from medical professionals, the department closed the case two weeks after it was opened. The parents initially questioned why the child’s medical records never made it into the case file, but Austin ISD police said they did, in fact, review it.
“While we didn’t pick up the records as a technical aspect of the case to have them in the case file, the medical expert assigned to the case through the Center for Child Protection and as part of the child protection team did in fact review all of the medical records, including the records that we did not pick up,” said AISD Chief Eric Mendez.
The case was reopened in April and sent to the Travis County DA’s Office for review. While Moore wouldn’t go into details about the case, she did tell KXAN that a pediatric specialist reviewed the case and that’s what helped prosecutors come to their decision that a crime had not been committed.
Earlier this month, the child’s family filed a federal lawsuit against the school district and its police department claiming the district covered up sexual assault cases.
In response to the district attorney’s statement Friday, Guinn said, “I’m not aware of any retraction of the original sexual assault diagnosis by the trauma surgeon at Dell Children’s Hospital from Feb 7 and 8 and thus I’m not aware of what the Travis County District Attorney’s office or the child protection team has reviewed to make this determination.”
He says the family has not been contacted about the district attorney’s findings.