There probably isn't a school administrator in the state who hasn't heard about what allegedly happened to a Utah County woman's teenage daughter.
The woman mailed letters to every school district in the state warning them about a Mountain View High School football player she believes sexually assaulted her daughter in August.But she didn't stop there. Schools scheduled to play Mountain View received letters. So did businesses that sponsor the Orem school's football program. Women's organizations were on the mailing list as were boards of education, cities and police.
The mother started the mass mailing in early September because she was concerned that various officials, including police, seemed to discount her 17-year-old daughter's serious allegation.
"Nobody believed us," the Highland woman said.
The woman said she was met with the attitude that this sort of thing doesn't happen in Utah Valley.
But Orem police referred a 17-year-old boy to 4th District Juvenile Court. The Utah County Attorney's Office subsequently reviewed the case and Wednesday filed charges against the boy for felony sexual abuse.
A pretrial hearing is scheduled Nov. 18 in Orem Juvenile Court before Judge Leslie D. Brown. Juvenile court hearings are typically closed unless the judge decides to open them.
Accounts of the Aug. 18 incident vary.
The girl was at an Orem home with a few friends and some boys she didn't know very well. The boy and the girl attend different high schools. One boy asked the girl to come downstairs to see something, and her daughter was then assaulted, the mother said.
"She was pushed down and she fought him and fought him," she said.
Orem Police Chief Mike Larson said the boy and girl were kissing in a bedroom when the boy wanted to do more. She told him no. "He proceeded to go further," Larson said.
Detectives investigated the incident as a sexual assault, not a rape, he said. Larson said detectives sent clothing to the state crime lab for examination.
The girl's mother said she learned about the alleged attack the next day from one of her daughter's friends. She said her daughter was too upset to tell her. The mother immediately picked up her daughter at work and drove her to the American Fork Hospital. Orem police were called to the hospital about 7 p.m. that night.
The mother began sending the letters in early September. She said she didn't think the investigation was moving fast enough. She said she also wanted to warn other girls after seeing the devastating effects the incident had on her daughter, who takes honors classes and is involved in school activities.
"She can't sleep, can't eat. We've had to barricade the window to her bedroom. Our son sleeps outside her door," the mother said.
The teenager continues to attend school, but her mother said she had to drop her advanced placement classes.
The mother also was upset that neither the high school nor school district took any action against the boy, suggesting he's received special treatment because he's an athlete.
Alpine School District Superintendent Steven C. Baugh said administrators can't act on accusations.
"We seek information. We try to confirm allegations," he said.
Baugh said he didn't know that a charge was filed earlier in the week. After being shown a copy of it, he said he would review it with the school district attorney.
The mother believes her persistence with various officials helped bring about the petition.
"It's not that we're mean. I have feelings of sadness for this boy," she said.