Lawyer of sexual assault victim speaks out at Holyoke High School | News
HOLYOKE, MA (WGGB/WSHM) — Holyoke High School students demanding action Friday, holding a protest outside after an alleged sexual assault involving a student.
Friday the victim’s lawyer speaking out giving their version of what happened.
We are not identifying the victim by name, but her lawyer claims it happened late last month and on school grounds.
“No justice, no peace.”
Calls for justice were heard loud and clear outside of the Holyoke High School on Friday.
“Our school hasn’t really done anything about it,” senior Trinity Guzman said.
Hundreds of students walked out during lunchtime, calling for more communication and transparency from school officials after reports surfaced on Monday of an alleged sexual assault involving a Holyoke High School student.
“They have been trying to sweep it under the rug,” Guzman said.
“The person who did it, I just want them to get held accountable,” junior Jomairis Ortiz said.
Police have confirmed there is an ongoing investigation involving two juveniles but won’t go into details.
“What do we want? justice? When do we want it? Now.”
According to the victim’s lawyer, John Martin, this happened at the end of September.
“It happened in the high school, in a corridor,” Martin said.
Martin said the victim is traumatized by the incident and is unable to sleep.
“She’s afraid of being around people, unable to eat, unable to have even a moment’s peace,” Martin said.
Martin said the matter is being investigated by the Holyoke Police Department but that his team is looking into other alleged sexual assault incidents within the school district.
“We are looking at other prior incidents; we are aware of at least one other rape that occurred at this school allegedly,” Martin added.
We did reach out to the Holyoke Police Department and the school system for further information but have not received a response.
Superintendent Anthony Soto released a statement that says in part quote, “Holyoke High School and Holyoke Public Schools are cooperating with the police department in the investigation. We are required to respect the confidentiality that accompanies the investigation, especially one that involves juveniles. Any updates on the investigation will come from Holyoke Police.”
Holyoke school officials say they are working with police regarding the incident involving two juveniles.
Regarding this investigation, the Holyoke Police Department said in part quote,
“Electronic evidence has been turned over to the Massachusetts State Police laboratory; our investigators are awaiting their findings.”
Now in a separate report, not related to the incident from late September, police say a complaint of unprofessional conduct was filed by three females against a paraprofessional on October 5.
Police officials said in part quote, “The paraprofessional was suspended pending an investigation. The paraprofessional was advised he is barred from any and all school property. The alleged inappropriate behavior involves minors; their security and privacy is paramount and must be respected.”
Anyone with any information is asked to contact the Holyoke Police Department.