Westlake child sexual assault case stumper

The mother of a five-year-old, who was allegedly sexually assaulted in the bathroom of a Westlake creche, feels she is being denied justice.

*Lynn was assaulted in August, and her mother, *Tammy, said she heard from the daycare centre that the case had been dismissed due to lack of evidence.

“But I’m sitting with the evidence,” Tammy said, explaining that she is still in possession of the clothing Lynn wore on the day, and there is discharge on it.

On Wednesday August 24, Lynn, who was four years old at the time, allegedly went to the toilet at the creche, accompanied by another classmate, Tammy said. Lynn said she was in the stall when she heard a man come into the bathroom and speak to her classmate, who then left.

According to Tammy, Lynn later said that as she was pulling up her panty and jeans the man entered the stall, pulled her clothes down and sexually assaulted her.

The creche said, the children are not allowed to go to the toilet alone. The Bulletin met with the creche’s general manager, governing body chairperson and headmistress.

“We’ve done extensive investigation into this,” the general manager said. “We don’t allow strangers to come into the creche.”

According to the creche’s headmistress, the little girl showed no signs of distress on the day and was collected by her family at the end of the day.

But Tammy said Lynn’s granny fetched her and immediately noticed a difference in her behaviour.

“She initially didn’t want to speak and just wanted to be alone,” Tammy said.

The family became suspicious when Lynn didn’t want to go to the toilet alone, Tammy said.

Later in the evening Tammy went to spend the night at her sister’s house and Lynn stayed home with her granny.

When her granny put her in the bath, Lynn started crying complaining that her genitals were burning. She then told her family what had allegedly happened.

The granny called the police.

Lynn was taken to hospital and examined.

A sexual assault case was opened. According to Tammy, the nurses said there were signs that Lynn had been assaulted but it was later confirmed that no penetration had occurred.

Tammy said Lynn identified a man the familly knows, who lives a few streets away from them, as the perpetrator. Tammy claims, the man is a known drug-addict, is HIV-positive and a friend of the caretaker at the creche.

Lynn is currently on ARVs as a precaution and will be tested again for HIV in a few weeks, Tammy said.

When asked how she knew the man’s alleged HIV-status Tammy said: “Westlake is a small community. Everyone knows everyone else’s business.”

According to Tammy DNA evidence had been taken but the clothing that Lynn had worn on the day of the assault is still with her and untouched.

Tammy said she has tried to get in touch with the investigating officer multiple times but she has not succeeded.

Several weeks after the incident, Tammy heard from the creche that the case had been dismissed due to lack of evidence. She was furious that the investigating officer had not informed her directly so she laid a complaint with what she called the “police anti-corruption unit”.

She gave the Bulletin the contact details she had used.

When the Bulletin contacted the numbers a woman answered and confirmed that the case had been reopened and said it had been referred to the commissioner’s office.

She would give no more details because, she said, she was not allowed to talk to the media. The Bulletin contacted the commissioner’s office and police multiple times but had received no response at the time of going to print.

The Bulletin contacted the number Tammy had used a second time and a man answered. He confirmed that the office, in Bellville, was part of the Department of Community Safety but refused to give any details about the case because he was not allowed to talk to the media. The Bulletin contacted the Department of Community Safety’s communications office but had received no response by the time of going to print.

*Not their real names. The names of the alleged victim, her family and the creche are known to the Bulletin but may not be published to protect the identity of the child.