A 13-year-old Colorado Springs-area middle schooler, who reportedly was arrested recently for allegedly sexually harassing and assaulting female classmates, has become a cause célèbre among far-right media that claim the #metoo movement has gone too far.
One of the girls has obtained a temporary restraining order against the boy, whose family has raised nearly $20,000 since posting an online appeal for donations for a defense fund for their son.
The boy’s father claims his son, who is white, was arrested after “he made a girl mad on Snapchat” by using a black cartoon character as his Bitmoji, a picture that represents a character. Dennis Bailey Jr. contacted the editor of a website run by former Brietbart writer Milo Yiannopoulos to publicize what he says in his online appeal for donations are false accusations as a way of getting revenge against his son.
An opening summary of the article on Yiannopoulos’ website states: “In a scene from #metoo meets ‘The Crucible,’ four female students have accused an eighth-grade boy of sexual assault after he refused to apologize for going against political correctness.”
In the restraining-order complaint filed in 4th Judicial District Court, a 13-year-old girl claims in the most recent incident the boy “was aggressively grabbing my boobs and butt,” at a park in August.
The accuser also alleges the boy was “aggressively petting” her while they rode in a church van. “The driver told him to stop, but he did not,” she stated.
The temporary restraining order bars the boy from getting within 100 yards of the girl. A court hearing for a permanent restraining order is scheduled for next week.
Because the arrest and accusations involve minors and claims of sexual assault, The Gazette is withholding the names of those involved.
School District 49 spokesman David Nancarrow said a D-49 school last month investigated reports that a male student “engaged in inappropriate conduct.” The El Paso County Sheriff’s Office investigated and “shared their conclusions with the school and the district,” he said.
A school administrative team “developed a response to promote safety and assign appropriate consequences,” Nancarrow said, adding that “The student has since chosen to enroll in another school.”
Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Jackie Kirby said a student was arrested at Horizon Middle School on Sept. 19, but declined to provide further details because it involves a juvenile.
The boy’s father referred questions from The Gazette to his lawyer, Mark Hanchey of Colorado Springs, who did not respond to repeated phone calls.
Bailey said online that the incident started when his son changed his Snapchat Bitmoji to a black cartoon character, following a conversation his son had with friends about online anonymity.
“That triggered accusations of being racist,” Bailey wrote, adding that his son started getting threats at school that he was going to get beat up for being racist.
“He refused to be bullied into changing it,” Bailey wrote.
In retaliation, the father said, one girl and some of her friends accused his son of sexual assault.
Bailey said a school administrator intimidated his son while questioning him for several hours.
“No one even called us (parents) or let us know what was going on,” Bailey wrote. “They couldn’t coerce a confession out of him, so they suspended him from school anyway, and called the cops and had him arrested.
“I honestly believe that it’s completely fabricated, but in the era of #metoo, they led him away in handcuffs.”
Kirby declined to say if the boy was handcuffed when he was arrested.
As of Wednesday, 399 donors had pledged $18,645, far exceeding the initial goal of $5,000.
The money will be used to defend his son on the criminal charges and to pay for a lawsuit Bailey said he is considering filing. Any remaining money will be “split up between someone else’s defense” and his son’s college fund,” Bailey wrote.
“We intend to fight the charges with whatever it takes,” he said.