Father of 12-year-old girl with autism talks about assault case

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - New information on the case involving a middle school student with autism allegedly assaulted by a teacher's aide. We first broke the story Monday. Now we're hearing from the child's father.

We spoke by phone, he wants to remain anonymous to protect his daughter.

He hasn't seen the tape which Chesterfield police said captured Jan Costley yanking the girl's arms during gym class March 7, but the child's father said at one point his daughter was taken to the bathroom when she didn't ask to go.

The 12-year-old's father says his daughter, who uses syllables to communicate, was out of camera range for nearly 10 minutes while in the bathroom and we may never know what happened there.

He said when the Matoaca 6th grader returned to her P.E. class, the teacher's aide assigned to her, Costley, was caught on camera yanking on her arms then his daughter was placed in time out.

At the end of class, he said someone saw swelling and bruising on her nose and took her to the nurse. Later that night, he said his wife found bruises on her arms during bath time. The next day, he said the school resource officer looked at the tape and determined a special victims detective was needed.

Molly Dellinger-Wray with VCU's Partnership for People with Disabilities saw our story. She runs a low-cost training program for families and educators seeking information about abuse.

"Not only are they abused at a higher rate and for a longer period of time, but also that abuse causes disabilities," said Dellinger-Wray.

A teleconference for parents of children with disabilities and professionals is scheduled for next Wednesday in Richmond. The training session costs $25 and includes lunch. For more details just click on this link: http://www.vcu.edu/partnership/pnstraining/

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