A furious mum has opened up about her intellectually disabled daughter’s harrowing ordeal of being sexually and indecently abused at school.
Therese Goshorn is now on a mission to ensure what happened to Kimberly, now, 20, doesn’t happen to anyone else.
She and her husband Brett went to extensive lengths to find the best school on the New South Wales mid north coast for Kimberley due to her moderate intellectual impairment.
Ms Goshorn described Kimberley as enthusiastic and excited about new opportunities when she started year seven in 2014, but it was just the beginning of a horrific nightmare for the family.
She claims threats of sexual violence were made against her daughter by an older student not long after she started high school.
He acted on them a year later when he and another boy indecently assaulted Kimberly in a classroom.
Mum Therese Goshorn (pictured, left) wanted the best school for her daughter Kimberly (right) – but she soon fell victim to boys who sexually abused her
‘I received a phone call at home from the deputy principal saying ‘oh Therese, I have got Kimberly in my office, can you come down, you won’t be happy’,’ Ms Goshorn told A Current Affair as she fought back tears.
‘Two boys were in the classroom fondling her breasts and her vagina, putting her hand on their penises, showing her pornography.’
The family reported the indecent assault to police as the boys were suspended for 30 days – but soon returned to the school.
It took a police investigation and criminal trial to uncover one boy’s horrific actions.
Kimberly eventually confided to her mother and a councilor that she had been raped at school.
‘The student had taken Kimberly from her classroom and knocked her on the head, pulled her pants down and raped her and told her that he would kill her if she told anyone,’ Ms Goshorn said.
‘The boy was known to have sexualised and harmful behaviours. The school was well aware of it. He had been suspended because of it.’
Kimberly was initially enthusiastic and excited about starting high school in 2014 (pictured, in year seven, a year before she was indecently and sexually assaulted
The boy was later found guilty of sexually and indecently assaulting Kimberly, but has since been released back into the community.
He also was charged with assaulting another girl in Kimberly’s class and two more victims who went to a different school.
Ms Goshorn claims the school didn’t inform her about the threats against Kimberly until after they were acted on.
‘There were a lot of things that were kept from us as a family that would have enabled us to school our daughter in how to keep herself safe. What to do if she was frightened,’ she said.
Ms Goshorn is now speaking out in the hope no other student goes through what Kimberly endured.
‘If I don’t say something then what changes?’ she said.
‘For a young person with an intellectual impairment, it is very difficult to assess the level of damage that these incidents have caused her.’
Daily Mail Australia contacted the NSW Department of Education for comment.
Therese Goshorn (pictured) is speaking out in the hope what happened to her daughter at school never happens again
The NSW Department of Education admitted to the program it had failed Kimberly and her family but insisted there was no cover up.
‘I personally apologise for what’s happened to Kimberley and her family, it isn’t satisfactory,’ deputy secretary Leanne Nixon said.
‘There was no cover-up and the teachers reported as soon as they were aware and the police became involved.
‘We have put a whole series of processes and training in place to ensure that we learn from this mistake and that it doesn’t happen again.’
Now a young woman, Kimberly is training to be a triathlete and has high hopes for the future.
‘Staying really fit, have heaps of friends, and hopefully, one day, get married,’ she said.
‘Being happy makes you feel good. It makes you feel so free and most days I am happy.’
If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732
Kimberly (pictured) has high hopes for the future after her harrowing high school years