Alabama school uses 14-year-old as bait to catch rapist

Sparkman Middle School


An Alabama school has come under fire for its handling of a sting operation meant to nab an alleged rapist–and, thanks to public court documents, even more disturbing details are now coming to light.

Sparkman Middle School, located in Huntsville AL, first attracted attention when, unbeknownst to the administration, one of its teachers asked a 14-year-old, female, former foster-cared student to pretend to be interested in the rapist’s bathroom advances.

When the sting went awry, the girl was raped. Now, the Justice Department has filed a lawsuit in her favor and against the school board.

June Simpson, a physical education aide with the school, testified in a handwritten statement that


On this Friday [January 22, 2010], (the boy) was doing custodial work [as punishment]. (The girl) claimed he stopped her on the way to P.E. and asked her to meet him in the bathroom (for sex)….At that time I told her I was tired of that kid and she should go pretend she wanted to meet him so we could set him up to catch him.


After some back-and-forth in the principal’s office about the logistics of the operation–and after the girl first refusing, then changing her mind–the plan went ahead.

The real trouble started, though, when the boy had the two change locations, due to the number of people around the first bathroom.




While the teachers who knew of the plan looked around the school for the pair, the girl was raped by the boy:


Q. Okay. And at that point, had you made it clear to him that you didn’t — didn’t want to go through with it?

A. Yes.

Q. Did you tell him no?

A. I said I don’t want to do this.


Q. Okay. At any point during this – this encounter, did you call for help?

A. No.

Q. You didn’t scream or holler or anything like that?

A. No.

Q. All right. And what happened next?

A. He raped me.


From there, the school board and other administrators began a strange carousel of finger-pointing and buck-passing.

The boy’s attorney, for instance, alleges that his client was supervised by administrators at all times during the day the encounter took place.

That story conflicts sharply with the tack the administration is taking: that they played no role in supervising any of the children involved, and that they are completely without blame.

And in one instance, a few months after the incident, the principal of the school shredded his records of the encounter, since nothing had happened with the case “for a while.”

The girl has since left the school…and returned to foster care.


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