Education

Lawyer: Suspect in Killian school stabbing may have been raped at her former school, bullied

Police officers watch the front of the school as concerned parents pick up their children at Killian High School in South Miami-Dade on Tuesday, March 31, 2015. A student was stabbed by another student earlier.
Police officers watch the front of the school as concerned parents pick up their children at Killian High School in South Miami-Dade on Tuesday, March 31, 2015. A student was stabbed by another student earlier. MIAMI HERALD STAFF

The young woman accused of stabbing a football player at Miami Killian Senior High School may have been the victim of sexual assault by football players at her former school, her lawyer said Wednesday.

The 17-year old senior was charged Tuesday with felony attempted murder after police say she plunged a long kitchen knife into 15-year-old DeAndre Johnson’s chest. She had two other knives and a large grill fork stuffed in her backpack, according to a police report released Wednesday.

Johnson, described as a likeable student and standout athlete, is in stable condition and expected to fully recover. Doctors sliced him open from his collar bone to his abdomen to repair a cut artery and collapsed lung, said Miami lawyer Judd Rosen, of Goldberg and Rosen, who is representing the family.

“He was on death’s door step,” Rosen said.

In November, the teen accused in the stabbing filed a lawsuit against Keys Gate Charter School in Homestead. The suit claims the young woman was pulled out of a school bathroom by a football player and forced to perform oral sex on him in a locker room. She was then led to an administrator’s office where the football player and another athlete continued to sexually assault her.

“There is no evidence to support the allegations against Keys Gate Charter High School,” said Colleen Reynolds, a spokeswoman for the school.

The Miami Herald is not identifying her because the newspaper does not typically name victims of sex crimes.

Police closed an investigation into the allegations without pressing charges, said lawyer Jeff Herman, who is representing the young woman in her lawsuit against Keys Gate. But that is not uncommon in sex assault cases since evidence can be hard to collect.

Herman said his client was traumatized from being sexually assaulted and said he is looking into allegations of bullying and harassment at Killian. But Herman stopped short of offering the alleged abuse as a motive behind Johnson’s stabbing.

“I can’t comment about anything regarding this current case,” Herman said. “We’re looking at everything.”

District spokeswoman Daisy Gonzalez-Diego said the school system didn’t get any reports about the girl having any problems at Killian. Since she came from a charter school, the girl’s history is unknown to the district, Gonzalez-Diego said.

“We just want to remind kids that there are avenues for them to report it (bullying). There are counselors, adults … who can help them,” Gonzalez-Diego said.

A judge on Wednesday ordered the teen to remain in jail for three weeks while the state decides whether and how to prosecute her, Herman said.

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