DOE Investigating Reported Sexual Assault at JESS

Department of Education officials are investigating an alleged sexual assault which took place at the Julius E. Sprauve School last week.

The alleged sexual assault took place during a supervised after-school activity on Tuesday afternoon, November 15, and involved multiple students, according to information from DOE.

JESS Principal Dionne Wells learned of the incident on Thursday, November 17, and took immediate action, reporting the incident to the V.I. Police Department. It was listed in the St. John VIPD blotter at 1:30 p.m. November 17 and categorized as an attempted rape.

Wells also met with the students involved in the incident and their parents on Friday morning, November 18, at JESS, according DOE.

DOE Commissioner LaVerne Terry also met with Wells Friday at JESS. In addition to DOE, Department of Human Services and VIPD officials are investigating the incident.

“At this point, all of the appropriate agencies, including the V.I. Police Department and Human Services, have been properly notified about the event and are in the process of determining exactly what occurred,” according to a prepared statement by DOE.

The students were taking part in a supervised after-school activity when the alleged sexual assault occurred on the Cruz Bay campus, according to a report in the V.I. Daily News.

For the protection of the students involved, DOE last week did not release any details of the incident or the identity of the students. JESS is a public elementary and middle school with kindergarten through eighth grade classes.