Pembroke Hill student no longer attending school after allegations of sexual assault at party

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Parents with children at Pembroke Hill School received a message from the school's leader Monday, explaining that a male student accused of involvement in an alleged sexual assault is no longer enrolled at the private school.

FOX 4 first reported the allegations when a Pembroke Hill mother exclusively told us her 14-year-old daughter was sexually assaulted at an off-campus party. The alleged victim's mother said students from both the Pembroke Hill School and Rockhurst High School were at the party, which consisted of eight people: The alleged victim, two other Pembroke girls, a Pembroke boy and four Rockhurst boys.

The girl said there was alcohol at the Feb. 12 party and she believes she was drugged. She said she drank from an open soda can, passed out and woke up naked on the bathroom floor. She believes at least one boy sexually assaulted her and that his friends posted about it on social media.

In an email to parents on Monday, Steve Bellis, Head of School at Pembroke, said it is a priority to protect and support the female students involved, and the male student who attended the party is no longer enrolled at Pembroke Hill.

He also addressed the allegations and the fears of parents.

"This tragic event contains several elements that strike at the core of what all of us fear for the young people in our lives," he said. "It is my hope that we find some good in this terrible experience by using it to help ensure that all of our students are better equipped to prevent them from experiencing anything like this in the future and to gain awareness regarding how to assist and support others who may encounter similar unfortunate situations."

Bellis also announced that "to support the larger PHS community (students and parents alike)," administrators were in the process of finalizing an "engagement with a local organization that specializes in this area."

Fox 4 confirmed that organization is the Metropolitan Organization to Counter Sexual Assault (MOCSA).

MOCSA President and CEO Julie Donelon would not comment on this specific case, but said false sexual assault accusations are rare, and she believes all teenagers could benefit from educating themselves about the risks of sexual assault and how to prevent it.

"While there are specific cases that get highlighted," Donelon said, "I feel it's really important for the community to know that this is something that is going on every single day in our community, and so we have to stand up and make a change."

In her first report on the allegations, FOX 4's Katie Banks asked Rockhurst High School leaders how they would address the allegations against four of their students, but they said they could not comment. On Tuesday, Rockhurst said it had not sent an email to parents similar to the one Pembroke Hill sent.

Kansas City, Mo., police said they are continuing to investigate the allegations and so far, no charges have been filed.

 

 

 

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