The parents of a 6-year-old Bentonville rape victim have sent a letter to Exceptional Advocacy, according to a news release Tuesday (May 27).
In the letter, they say they are the parents of a 6-year-old that was abused by rape suspect Ali Matar, Jr., a former employee of the Bentonville School District’s “Adventure Club” program.
They requested that the details of the sexual abuse be kept confidential and not released publicly, and they published their letter so, “that other parents whose children attended or continue to attend the district’s ‘Adventure Club’ program may be more accurately informed as to the facts.”
In the letter, the parents said that this rape case was not an “isolated incident.” The letter states that their 6-year-old child was also subjected to acts of sexual abuse while attending the Adventure Club.
The letter states there were elementary schools other than R. E. Baker Elementary that Matar worked in the Adventure Club program where sexual abuse occurred.
The acts of sexual abuse perpetrated by Matar took place before school in the Adventure Club while he was alone with the 6-year-old child, according to the letter.
“This child is a 6-year-old, and she was assaulted at an Adventure Club and it was the morning program,” said Kimberly Parker, an advocate at Exceptional Advocacy. “Our child was abused at another location other than R.E. Baker.”
The school district said Matar also worked at Elm Tree Elementary School, Apple Glen Elementary School and Willowbrook Elementary School. Parker would not say which school her client was sexually assaulted at.
Also stated in the letter is a request that there will be meaningful change taken by the Bentonville School District to protect the children who attend the Adventure Club program and to assure no more children become victims of sexual abuse as a result of ignoring policies that were put in place to prevent actions.
“They are really upset with the level of communication,” Parker said. “Again, that it has not truly been communicated to the community about the level of abuse and where it has taken place,” Parker said.
The letter is signed, “John and Jane Doe, parents of 6-year-old child doe.”
It was published by the group Exceptional Advocacy on their Facebook page. To view the full letter, click here.
Superintendent Michael Poore said the school district has done its best to keep parents informed.
“We are being cautious in that we want the police to do the investigation,” he said. “We do not want to have anyone feel like we are not being real about trying to get to the bottom of this matter. Every letter we’ve sent out, we have said that if you feel anything that does not feel quite right, go to the police.”
Poore said the school district is working with the Children’s Advocacy Center and the Bentonville Police to help parents talk to their children about the recent events. He said there will be a parent forum at Bentonville High School on May 29 at 7 p.m.
Matar was arrested on May 14 on suspicion of raping a 5-year-old girl at R. E. Baker Elementary School in Bentonville, police said.