Parents Of 6-Year-Old Bentonville Rape Victim Publish Letter, Call For Action

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.

14 comments

  • Julie

    In another article it was stated that it is policy of the Adventure Club that no child is ever alone with an adult. Obviously, this policy is not being enforced. What is being done to insure that their policies are going to be enforced now going forward? And shouldn’t their administration be held liable for not enforcing that policy that would’ve protected these children?

  • the truth hurts

    Do they do background checks I read there was more than one victim in this case. I think the school should be held accountable .for this person to be able to do these young children this way I tell you what when my daughter was in school 3rd grade she had a very hateful teacher I choose to home school my daughter if schools cant protect kids better more people will homeschool which is our right to do its a simple as filling out a form so if you can home schooling is the best way to go.

    • Questions

      I guess grammar was not a high priority while you were homeschooling your child? I was homeschooled, but I feel comments like this are part of the reason homeschooling receives a bad wrap. To educate one’s child, one must first be educated.

      • the truth hurts

        you are proably some teacher in bentonville mister perfect Questions
        my grammar might not be perfect but my daughter passed every test she had to through the school district and is a productive person in society to this day so dont sit and tell me that I give home schooling a bad name maybe you condon what goes on in the school maybe you are weird also sad but true watch your kids from people everyday I would say more but I cant say really or you will proably cry somemore and try to block my statement.

    • Questions

      First of all, I am a female, and no, I am in no way affiliated with any of the school districts. But thank you for accusing me of being a supporter of pediphila, it really shows you are an impowered individual. If your education is lacking, that was sarcasm by the way. I do in no way condone what happened in Bentonville, and I think child abusers should be on the list for the death penalty. The reason I commented on your grammar is because it reinforces stereotypes that homeschoolers are uneducated and dumb, and being I WAS HOMESCHOOLED MYSELF, I take offense to that.

      • Icarus

        Cut her some slack on the grammar. She is not writing a master’s thesis or some academic dissertation. Or you that insecure about being homeschooled that it has turned you into a grammar Nazi? This a comment section, most are likely to be typing on their phones with tiny screens and keyboards. Let’s focus on the content and message.

    • FSM

      I work th school disrrict in Fort Smith and I do believe it is state law for all employees, no matter full-time or part-time, working with kids or not, they all must have a background check performed, and I don’t know how other districts do it, but Fort Smith uses the background check from the state police and one of those “clearing house” sites that shows anything and everything, whether its been expunged or not. And other articles do state that he did have a background check ran on him. But if he had no priors, then there’s no way to tell. Also, students don’t always like their teachers and Ive dealt with parents that thought their kid was perfect and could do no wrong, but yet their child was disruptive and bullied the other children, so the best course if you have a problem with the teacher its always best to have a meeting with the principal and the teacher and then possibly include the child as well, that way, and I’m not calling any names here, but you can better tell if your child is lying or not.

  • the truth hurts

    As parents of small children keep well aware and question your children about there day at school . There no telling what u our child goes throygh in the day besides learning. I read also a while back where bentonville school had take a persons child to charter vista during school day and claimed they didnt have to tell the parents about that and it went on for a long time this was a young child maybe 5 or 6 year old. Im really glad my kids are out of school cause I would be scared everyday my child left to go to school.. but as parents we must do our best to ask our kids what there day was like and what
    happened to them..

  • Whistle Blower

    I’d love to know where I can blow the whistle on Adventure Club (AC).

    As a previous employee, I think that everyone should know the truth. There never was a policy that was enforced until AFTER this happened. I worked there for years and let me tell you, I was never told not to be alone. In fact, I was often forced to be alone. Sometimes with just one child and sometimes with numerous children. During my time in the program, I was alone with children hundreds of times. They are doing this to cover themselves and distance themselves from the events. It’s complete bullshit, which is why I left the program. The program isn’t about the kids. Literally, this place is all about who’s a smoker. If you’re a smoker, you get preferential treatment from the bosses, i.e. LOTS of breaks, which FORCE the non-smoker of the group to take on a bunch of children ALONE. I really wish I was kidding. This place is absolute trash. TRASH. No one has a clue what they are doing, and they literally could give two shits about the children there. Obvi.

    Rant over.

    P.S. I hope that someone high up gets fired for this. Instead of this “let’s act like we had all of these policies in place to protect said events when in reality we practically invited them to happen.”

  • Mel

    a back ground check is good and helps rid us of some bad people ( who have been caught)It is a piece of paper that guarantees us they have never been caught. It can happen anywhere, school, church, friends house or family. Not all programs are bad. I felt safe with the program my kids were in. I feel bad for these kids. Someone needs to loose their job over this.

  • suan

    I also worked in the program during the summer. I was the only teacher in the room with 20 children! I said then there should be at least two teachers in the classroom. That’s just asking for all kinds of problems. For the after school program, lots of times I was the only teacher watching 30 ish kids while other teachers were talking or out of room. That’s one reason I left.

  • a

    I also worked for adventure club at bentonville. They never enforced policy. I was often alone for extended periods of time with 20 to 25 children. Josh and Maria were in charge at the time. They didn’t perform thorough ” background checks. Food wasn’t kept sanitary. “Lesson plans were non existent and “teachers were on there cell phones most of the time. This place isn’t safe for children and it’s horrific that they run on a budget of nearly 2 million a year. Josh used to brag about getting paid the big bucks for putting up with the incompetent hired teachers. It’s truly sad how many kids are in these programs and the kids can’t even be protected from abuse. 2 million dollars should ay least pay for behavioral testing for employees or drug testing or something. Several teachers got baked before coming to wprk. If i was a parent I’d steer clear of this program if at all possible. “

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