This article has been updated. See note below.
This report is a joint project between the Independent Women's Forum and The Post Millennial.
“I was raped. I was raped. I was raped. F*cking kill me.” Maggie* could barely believe the words she was reading in her daughter’s diary. But the words were real. And they were the first to finally explain the sudden mental health crisis that had captured her formerly happy, healthy, 12-year-old daughter.
The diary entry referred back to an incident in October 2021, when her daughter Ray*, a 6th grader at ASK Academy charter school in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, was allegedly raped inside the girls’ bathroom by an older biological male student.
It is alleged that when the male student first entered the girls’ restroom, Ray was washing her hands and didn’t take particular notice of the student’s sex, nor was she aware of his “gender identity.”
But before she knew it, the male student walked over to her, pinned her against the counter, and wrestled her to the floor. After hitting her head, he allegedly held her down, ripped her pants, and raped her.
Maggie only discovered what allegedly happened to her daughter several months afterwards, when she was reorganizing her daughter’s room and stumbled upon her journal. After confronting her daughter about what it said, Maggie reported the rape to law enforcement, took her daughter for a physical exam, and began looking into the school’s role.
Maggie believes the main reason a male student was alone with her daughter that day, and had the opportunity to rape her, is because the school had fully embraced gender ideology. Upon reading through school documents and talking with her daughter and fellow parents, Maggie learned that, without her knowledge or consent, ASK Academy had fully embraced radical gender theory into its policies and classrooms.
“We learned that kids were pledging allegiance to the pride flag instead of the American flag,” Maggie said. “We learned that some teachers were discussing daily, the normalcy of transgender people and gender dysphoria, and that this school had a higher population than anyone would expect for such a small school of kids saying they were trans and parents not knowing.”
Ray, who is now 13, said the school fostered an ideologically far-left culture, which left little room for dissent. She said she felt pressured by teachers and faculty to accept the presence of men in women’s spaces, to keep her mouth shut about any feelings of discomfort, and to avoid doing anything that would be construed as “judging” someone who might identify as transgender.
It was these conditions that Maggie believes disarmed her daughter and potentially enabled a male student to take advantage of the school’s “inclusive” bathroom policies.
Ray’s allegations provide a gruesome example of what can happen when schools open girls’ and women’s spaces to men, and instruct children to embrace an ideology that teaches girls to ignore their natural instincts when female-designated spaces are infiltrated by men. It also reflects a larger shift happening in society, where the feelings and comfort of biological men take precedence over the feelings, safety, and privacy of women.
In addition to speaking to the mother and her daughter, Independent Women’s Forum reviewed the results of a medical exam confirming evidence of Ray’s hymen being ripped as the result of trauma. IWF and The Post Millennial also reviewed pages from Ray’s diary documenting the alleged rape, confirmed the existence of an ongoing police investigation into it, and viewed legal agreements for a civil lawsuit the mother plans to bring against the school.
“We have fought very hard to get our life back and survive this,” Maggie said. “It nearly took her life and mine. It leaves you feeling hopeless and isolated, like a failure as a parent to not have known or not have been able to prevent it.”
Fallout From the Alleged Attack
According to Ray, ASK Academy had a policy of affirming students who adopted “transgender” identities, and supported their use of whichever bathroom or locker room facilities they preferred. Ray said this meant she was regularly forced to use girls’ bathrooms with boys, which conditioned her to lower her guard.
“A lot of the natural instincts, those emotions, those kinds of barriers or protective like walls that I had up, that school made it feel like those were bad,” she said.
At the time of the alleged attack, Ray didn’t know the identity of her alleged perpetrator. She said she could only see that he had long hair. 20 minutes after he left the bathroom, she was finally able to pick herself up off the floor. Somehow, no one had checked in on her. All she could hear was a ringing in her ears.
Feeling scared, ashamed, and thinking that no one would believe her about what had just happened, Ray went back to her class and sat in silence.
She explained that she chose not to report the alleged assault and instead suppressed her feelings out of fear of being labeled a “bigot” by her classmates for calling out the “bathroom issue,” or being served detention for “bullying.”
Though she didn’t know the reason at the time, Maggie noticed her daughter beginning to exhibit signs of deep grief, anxiety and depression. She described it as feeling as though there was a stranger in their house. About a month after the alleged attack, Maggie started her daughter in therapy, where Ray insisted she was just being bullied in school. Once her daughter started demonstrating suicidal ideations, Maggie decided to confront ASK Academy and get them involved.
The school, Maggie said, dismissed her concerns. “They treated us like we were a problem when we tried to make them address issues our child was facing in their school,” she said, adding, “The school tried to say we must be doing something wrong at home.”
Watching her daughter become suicidal “for the first time in her life,” Maggie and her husband made the decision to pull their daughter from ASK Academy and enroll her in the local public school.
Several months later, on April 11, 2022, Maggie found her daughter’s journal, where she learned that Ray was not just being bullied in school, but had allegedly been through a sexual assault.
Maggie and her husband sat down with Ray to ask about the diary entry. When Ray finally opened up about being raped, Maggie immediately contacted Rio Rancho Police Department and their local Child Protective Services office to document and cross-report the case.
Rio Rancho Police Department began a criminal investigation, assigning a detective to the case who Maggie said was then supposed to work directly with ASK Academy. But to this day, Maggie said she isn’t confident that anyone from the police department or the school has even taken the time to review security footage from the time and location Ray thinks she was attacked.
Maggie was told by police involved in the investigation that progress on the case has been slow due to alleged staffing shortages. Recently, Maggie said the department assigned a new detective to the criminal case who she believes just began reviewing all of the previous detective's work.
“It just sucks,” Maggie said. “I've been told in New Mexico, that these types of cases can take years to really come to fruition. I don't know how that's possible, but that's what we keep being told.”
IWF reached out to Captain Joel Holt of the Rio Rancho Police Department for comment, who confirmed that a criminal case is open and active. Cpt. Holt told IWF that while staffing is a factor in delays, there are other things which “potentially take time for an investigation,” but that their detectives are “working to do a thorough and complete investigation.” To this date, no charges have been filed.
In Spring 2022, by the time that Maggie started “raising hell” about her daughter’s alleged rape, she said four staffers from ASK Academy, including two top administrators, had left their positions at the school.
“They're afraid of our case,” she said, adding, “They know what's coming.”
In addition to the criminal investigation, Maggie and her husband are pursuing legal options against the school, alleging ASK Academy didn’t have enough protections in place to safeguard their students, like Ray.
The investigative and legal delays, both on the criminal and civil front, have left an alleged rapist loose at school with more than 550 students, free to strike again. To Maggie’s knowledge, ASK Academy never notified parents or students about the alleged incident or ensuing criminal investigation.
As the investigation continues to drag on, more troubling allegations have come to light.
In one instance dating back to July 2022, a 14-year-old female student at a neighboring public school was allegedly assaulted on her own campus at gunpoint. The girl identified her alleged attacker, whose name the alleged victim’s mother shared with Maggie. After learning his identity, Maggie looked at Ray’s yearbook and discovered the male was a student at ASK Academy, and that her daughter had circled his picture with a big blue marker. When she asked about it, Ray said she recently had a “nightmare” where she remembered her perpetrator’s name.
IWF is not publishing the identity of the alleged perpetrator. However, in May 2022, the same individual’s name appeared in the subject of an email that a female student from ASK Academy sent to all fellow students years 2022 - 2026.
The email read:
"As of late we have had an issue with [REDACTED]. He has sexually harrassed, bullied, cheated off of and threatened people to get his way for his own gain. If you have experienced, witnessed or even had friends who've experienced this please, PLEASE write an incident report. The more proof we have, the better chance we can prevent this from happening to anyone ever again. Please dont hesitate to speak up. Get your parents involved as well, anything helps."
Though she had already left the school, Ray still had access to ASK Academy’s servers and was able to see the email. She and her mother heard from other parents and students that girls were taking it upon themselves to collect information about this student and personally take it to the school board, due to their perceived lack of accountability against a known offender.
Since leaving the school, Maggie and Ray said they’ve also learned of two additional alleged victims by the same student, but are “too afraid” to come forward.
“We have learned that sexual harassment and assault was a commonly trending issue among the high school students at ASK Academy,” Maggie said.
“I feel extremely betrayed by them,” Ray said of the way ASK Academy responded to her allegations, along with those brought forward by other students. “For the past two years, I've had to accept that there probably won't be any justice.”
IWF reached out to ASK Academy’s Chief Executive Officer Edward Garcia for comment, as well as clarity regarding the school’s bathroom policies. Garcia said that ASK Academy is an “inclusive learning environment for all students,” and added the school does “not discriminate against any student.”
Garcia did not respond when asked to clarify whether girls’ facilities are open to biological boys.
While Garcia denied claims that sexual harassment and assault was commonly trending at ASK Academy, he also did not respond when IWF followed up by sharing a copy of the email sent out by students suggesting otherwise. He also did not respond to our inquiry about the existence of an open and active criminal case regarding an assault that allegedly occurred on ASK Academy school grounds, or offer any explanation as to why ASK Academy chose not to inform parents or students about the existence of such investigation for more than a year.
Instead, Garcia told IWF the school is “not at liberty to disclose confidential student information to a third party” and denied that any staff members left because of an open investigation.
‘Get Your Own Bathroom’
Today, Ray no longer feels comfortable using public restrooms and facilities by herself. At school, unless she’s with a group of girls, she uses a private bathroom in the nurse’s office, which she got special permission to do. She now needs medication to manage her anxiety and depression, keeps a knife closeby when she’s home alone, and has her family’s large, mixed-breed dog sleep next to her at night.
The entire situation has left Ray with little sympathy for efforts at the local, state and national levels to open women’s sports and private facilities to men who identify as transgender, or for the “trans” community itself.
“By them saying the only thing that matters is how they feel and not how I feel, is very selfish of them,” Ray said. “If they want their own bathroom, then gladly get your own bathroom. If you want your own sports, get your own sports. If you want to be included, be included in your own way that doesn't cause danger to everyone else.”
After a year at her local public school, Maggie and her husband decided their two daughters weren’t safe there, either. What solidified their decision was a law New Mexico passed in March that opened school bathrooms and locker rooms to individuals based on their “gender identity.” Maggie wrote to New Mexico Sen. Martin Heinrich, a Democrat, to express her concerns about the legislation, even sharing the account of what happened to her daughter. Her inquiry, Maggie said, was “met with a complete rejection of the notion that he would support anything that goes against gender affirming legislation.”
“He’s all about it, and his letter to me was so appalling,” she said, sharing the correspondence with IWF.
IWF reached out to Sen. Heinrich for comment. As of publication, Sen. Heinrich did not respond to our request.
Homeschooling, Maggie and her husband have now decided, is their only option to keep their daughters safe given the state’s current legislative landscape.
“She’s just a baby,” Maggie said. “No parent, no child, deserves this unimaginable pain and lack of justice. Instead, our legislative session wrapped up with the governor signing numerous bills that remove parents’ rights to protect their own children and allow the schools to put my daughters in danger.”
While the Biden administration ramps up attacks over what it calls “dangerous anti-transgender” legislation moving forward in more conservative-leaning states, Maggie knows first-hand what happens when lawmakers move in the opposite direction, choosing to prioritize the small group of transgender-identifying Americans at the expense of women and girls. It’s for this reason that, despite the ongoing investigations, she and her daughter decided to tell their story.
“I just want people to hear us because it feels like parents aren’t paying attention, aren’t taking action, or don’t want to open their eyes to what’s happening,” Maggie said. “We had a nearly perfect life before this trauma. We grieve the loss of her innocence, safety, and how things were before she was assaulted.”
“We will never be the same,” she added.
Update: This story has been clarified to reflect that none of the allegations have been proven and no charges have been filed by date of publication.
Kelsey Bolar is the director of storytelling, a senior policy analyst, and the executive producer of the “Identity Crisis” series at Independent Women’s Forum. Andrea Mew is the storytelling coordinator for Independent Women’s Forum and a contributing writer at Evie Magazine.
*To protect their identities and the integrity of the ongoing criminal investigation, Maggie* and Ray* spoke under pseudonyms.
Join and support independent free thinkers!
We’re independent and can’t be cancelled. The establishment media is increasingly dedicated to divisive cancel culture, corporate wokeism, and political correctness, all while covering up corruption from the corridors of power. The need for fact-based journalism and thoughtful analysis has never been greater. When you support The Post Millennial, you support freedom of the press at a time when it's under direct attack. Join the ranks of independent, free thinkers by supporting us today for as little as $1.
Remind me next month