Local Girl Raped Again

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The 12-year-old Berkeley girl who was repeatedly raped by a band of Willard Middle School boys was raped again at her new school, police said yesterday.

The girl attended learning disability classes at Willard, where the first assault started, but was transferred to Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School on Rose Street where the newest alleged rape occured Nov. 8, said Berkeley police Lt. Russell Lopes.

In a replay of the first grisly series of rapes, a 13-year-old King student "conned" the girl to a secluded place on the expansive campus during lunch break to assault her, Lopes said.

"We've never had this kind of thing happen before," Lopes said.

Police do not think the boy was connected with any of the seven Willard boys who have been arrested.

"I'm sure this young boy probably knew what happened at Willard and probably figured out who she was," Lopes said. "News travels fast."

The boy was arrested Nov. 9 and released to his parents with a notice to appear in court, Lopes said. He said the girl should not be allowed to go to school in Berkeley or even in Oakland because the students there will know about the incident.

Joaquin Rivera, president of the Berkeley Board of Education, said King will hold a series of classes on sexual harassment like Willard did. On Nov. 22, King will hold a play for students put on by Kaiser-Permanente called "The Nightmare on Puberty Street."

There is a long history of males targeting females who have been raped or had sex before, said Barrie Thorne, a UC Berkeley women's studies professor who specializes in childhood studies.

"If there are a few girls who were reported to have sex then they were (considered) fair game because they were 'bad girls,' whereas with boys we don't talk about that" she said. "It puts a terrible burden on girls and women."

Thorne said she worries that the incident, which is extremely rare in schools and has been "ballooned and overreported," will fuel an unhealthy panic and fear in parents.

"We live in a time where there is a lot of demonizing of children, where they are seen as a threat and also as victims and not as a complex mix," she said. "This is a horrible thing - but it shows something about our hyper-sexualized culture. We, as adults, need to take responsibility for the culture they're getting steeped in."

Lopes said the most recent alleged rape was kept silent until now because police wanted to avoid the barrage of television media that disrupted Willard Middle School.


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