Somerville Files Lawsuit To Keep Police Report About 6-Year-Old Boy Secret
The parents of a 6-year-old boy accused of touching another classmate’s buttocks want to see his police report. The city of Somerville has refused, and will now go to court to keep the record secret.
The boy’s parents, Flavia Perea and Sean Roberson, have spent nearly two years trying to get information from the city and school district about how their son ended up with a police record after the incident near the cubbies in his first grade classroom.
In a suit filed Wednesday in Middlesex Superior Court, Somerville is asking a judge to reverse an order from the Secretary of State’s office to provide more information about why it thinks the police report isn’t public, or provide the report.
“I want to see what’s in there,” Perea said. “I want to see what they said about my kid. And I want to hold them accountable if they behaved badly.”
The city declined to comment, but argues in court records that releasing the report would violate the privacy rights of the children involved.
They also say state law prohibits it from providing any reports involving sexual assault — even to the parents of the child accused in the report.
“I can’t imagine that the legislature in the state of Massachusetts imagined two little kids in their classroom … them being subject to a law that is intended to protect victims of violent sexual offenses from sexual predators,” Perea said. “I don’t believe that at all.”
The parents say the report doesn’t involve a crime, in part because children under 12 in Massachusetts cannot be criminally charged.
The Secretary of State’s office declined to comment on the suit.
The Perea-Roberson family’s story was first reported by The Boston Globe in February. Perea’s son is Black and Latinx, and she believes this is a “textbook example” of systemic racism in schools.
“They didn’t see a little brown boy,” she said. “What they saw is a criminal. And they treated him like a criminal. And the city and the police department have continued to treat him as they would a a hardened sex offender.”
Their son was never charged or disciplined at school.
Perea said the Department of Children and Families took no action, and has since agreed to destroy the records about her son.
She wants the police department to do the same–after she is provided with a copy.