The Pitt County NAACP is calling for the principal of Pactolus Elementary to be terminated, as deputies continue to investigate an alleged sexual assault at the school involving a 7-year-old victim.
The NAACP held a news conference at its Pitt County headquarters on West Fifth Street Thursday morning. According to the father of the alleged victim, a 14 to 15-year-old boy took his 7-year-old daughter to a restroom at Pactolus Elementary, where he "pretty much raped her." The father said the suspect had just graduated from the school.
"I understand everybody trying to say they're investigating, but my daughter can point the accused out.... She has been sexually assaulted and we really just want justice," the father said at the conference. "I know my daughter and we wouldn't just be making this up. I promise you we wouldn't."
Deputies said the sexual assault happened on May 28, and the parents of the victim didn't report the crime to the Pitt County Sheriff's Office until June 4.
But according to Caroline Sutton, the education chair for the Pitt County NAACP, the principal was notified of the sexual assault, yet failed to take action. Now, Sutton is calling for the principal and others responsible to be terminated.
Pitt County Schools released a statement in response to the NAACP. Below is an excerpt:
"It is important to note in this case that Pitt County Schools was first notified of this alleged incident on June 5. The school principal was told by law enforcement at that time. Since then, school officials have spent hours with law enforcement and cooperated fully with their investigation in myriad ways, including, but not limited to, the distribution of camera footage at the school and multiple interviews."
Deputies said they will not file charges until the victim meets with professionals at the TEDI BEAR Children's Advocacy Center in Greenville. The meeting is scheduled to take place next week because the center is handling other cases, investigators said.
But members of the NAACP said the child needs to be helped sooner.
"[The] child's life has been damaged. Why don't they go ahead and see her now?," said Calvin Henderson, the president of the Pitt County NAACP. "I am really angry beause this is a baby. This could of been anybody's child."
Pitt County Sheriff Neil Elks said his deputies have reviewed videos in this investigation. But because children are involved, investigators will take extra precautions.
"I think our reputation far exceeds any allegations [that] we're dragging our feet," said Sheriff Elks. "We're going to do the right thing and if somebody's committed this crime, then we'll take care of it."
Investigators did not release any more details about the case.