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Parents and students at Springs Ranch Elementary School file into the building for the annual back-to-school party on Tuesday, July 30, 2013. (The Gazette/Jerilee Bennett)

The parents of a former Springs Ranch Elementary preschooler are threatening to sue El Paso County School District 49, claiming their 3-year-old daughter was sexually abused during escorted bathroom trips.

They have submitted a claim of intent to file a lawsuit, alleging a teacher at Springs Ranch Elementary touched their daughter’s genitals and digitally penetrated her anus.

The child couldn’t specify which teacher did so but with a counselor identified a character with dark skin as a perpetrator, her mother said in the notice of claim.

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Colorado Springs police investigated, but no one was arrested, spokesman Lt. Howard Black said.

“The case status is inactivated and unfounded,” Black said, and police will take no further action.

The Gazette is not identifying the family in order to protect the girl’s identity.

The notice of claim says the couple enrolled the girl in the Springs Ranch preschool in February. On April 19, the mother said, she was bathing her daughter when the girl suddenly said, “Mom, my teacher touched me here,” pointing at her anus.

The mother said she took her daughter out of the tub and asked her to repeat what happened. The girl repeated the story, adding that the teacher had “touched her several times both on the genitals and her anus, and had penetrated her anus with a finger, causing pain,” the mother said.

She filmed her daughter on her cellphone recounting the story for the third time, which she said was the same version as the first two.

A licensed counselor with Centra de la Familia, which helps abuse victims, interviewed the child and said she was “confident” that the girl had been sexually assaulted.

An emergency room doctor who specializes in sexual assault cases examined the child and said she, too, believed the girl had been sexually assaulted, according to the claim of intent.

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The parents assert that the school violated its policies by allowing an assistant teacher to escort the child to the bathroom alone.

The girl appears to have been abused multiple times, according to the counselor and the parents.

The parents took her out of the school.

She has been receiving counseling from Centra de la Familia but continues to have “problematic behavior,” such as refusing to have anyone with her in the bathroom when she bathes, her mother said.

The parents’ lawyer, Joshua Deere of Colorado Springs, seeks to settle with D-49 and its board of education before filing a lawsuit. He did not return a request for comment.

A D-49 spokeswoman said the communications department was unaware of a potential lawsuit.

Contact the writer: 719-476-1656

Contact the writer: 719-476-1656.

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