7-year-old sexually assaulted in Oakland

February 10, 2011 6:02:52 PM PST
Oakland police are investigating the sexual assault of a young boy in the bathroom of a place that is supposed to be a safe haven for children in East Oakland -- the Boys and Girls Club, a longtime well-respected Oakland institution. The reported victim in the case was a brand new member.

According to police, the assault happened in a bathroom at the Boys and Girls Club on International Boulevard. A 7-year-old boy told his mother he was sexually assaulted by several boys. Police say there are more than two suspects under the age of 12.

"At this time we have assigned investigators from the special victims unit to take over the case," Oakland police spokesperson Holly Joshi said. "The case is a high priority to us and it's a highly sensitive case, due to both the age of the victim and the suspects."

"There was no commotion; the staff was not alerted to anything out of the ordinary happening," Boys and Girls Clubs of Oakland President Calvester Stanley said. "And as the story is coming together, the young man went home, told his mom. She took him to Children's Hospital and Children's Hospital called OPD."

A neighbor of the club, Gloria Garner says her grown son spent much of his childhood at the center.

"They need security here, after what happened; they've never had security here but after what happened they really need to have security here because you never know, it might happen again with the next child," she said.

While detectives interviewed club staff, members of the nearby Allen Temple Baptist Church came to visit.

"Our prayers are with the family of the child and our prayers are also with the perpetrators, because they're misguided," Allen Temple Parenting Coordinator Jacqueline Huggins said.

"I worked at Boys Club and I know that it supports the growth of the children and it's been a good place for the children to come and express themselves, so it's just a painful thing for us to experience in this community," the Rev. Eunice Shaw said.

Earlier reports indicated the club had surveillance cameras that might have captured either the crime or the perpetrators. But the club president says as a struggling non-profit, the club cannot afford cameras and even if they had them, they would not be in the bathrooms.

Police have made no arrests.


Load Comments