Admin addresses safety at Purdy

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

School superintendent aims to reassure patrons after alleged rape at high school

Purdy's school superintendent is aiming to assure parents and patrons that the district is taking student safety seriously following an alleged rape in the teacher's lounge.

A 17-year-old Purdy boy is being charged as an adult for allegedly raping a 14-year-old girl in at the Purdy school.

According to probable cause statement filed by Purdy Police Chief Jackie Lowe, Wilder Francisco Pastor-Gomez, 17, of Purdy, is facing the charge of second-degree rape, a class D felony, for allegedly having sexual intercourse with the girl without her consent.

Superintendent Steven Chancellor said rumors of the incident had reached high school administrators on the day of the incident.

"The administration conducted a prompt investigation and removed the alleged perpetrator from school [on the same day the alleged incident occurred]," he said in a Friday statement. "At that time, school officials made a hotline report and notified law enforcement. The District also is taking action to assist the alleged victim and her family."

Chancellor said the district continuously monitors students and, the timing of the incident was such that no one saw the students go into the teacher's lounge.

"We will do the same thing we've always done and make sure the adults know where the kids are at and what they are doing at all times," he said. "We have procedures in place to know where kids are, and it's a good process designed to prevent certain situations. We are not changing anything, and this was just perfect timing in the sense that it was bad timing."

Chancellor said he hopes to assure parents that the district takes the welfare and safety of its students very seriously and regrets that one of the students appears to have been abused by another student on school premises.

"What's tough is what we are supposed to be doing as a school district is to maintain confidentiality and protect the kids, and we want to reassure everyone that student safety is important to us and will continue to be important to us," he said. "It's terrible that as a society we have these things going on and in our schools."

Lowe said the 14-year-old girl told the school nurse, Sarai Salazar, about the incident, and a Purdy student allegedly interrupted the assault after finding Pastor-Gomez with his pants down and the victim unclothed.

During an interview at the Children's Advocacy Center, the victim said Pastor-Gomez told her at least three times to pull her pants down, and that he forced himself upon her.

A security camera at the school allegedly recorded Pastor-Gomez and the victim entering the teacher's lounge.

Pastor-Gomez, who was arrested Wednesday for the crime allegedly taking place on April 6, is being held in the Barry County jail on a $15,000 bond.

It is the policy of the Cassville Democrat not to release the names of victims who are minors that are involved in such incidents.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: