A 17-year-old Dallas high school student who was sexually assaulted and left in a dumpster last week began counseling Wednesday, something her relatives say she desperately needs.
“Wounds will heal, but mentally, we don't know. I mean, we don't know how long that will take,” the victim’s cousin said.
Dallas police found the victim nude, dirty and covered in blood in a dumpster along Maple Avenue on April 25. She was unconscious when she was rushed to Parkland Hospital.
Susan Faulkner, a former elementary school teacher, said the girl was unrecognizable.
“I feel as if my heart has been ripped out, so I can only imagine what the family feels like,” she said.
Faulkner has known the victim since she was 2 years old. Faulkner raced home from Florida to see her in the emergency room and has seen her every day since.
The victim lives with her mother, who doesn't speak English. Her father died two years ago.
“They need love, prayers, support," Faulkner said. "They need help financially. They need emotional support."
Faulkner also said the entire family needs counseling.
Faulkner saw the clip of the suspect in the case, Tommy Robinson, on television. He told NBC 5 that he wanted money in exchange for an interview.
“My reaction is, it’s typical," Faulkner said. "People like that want to benefit from other people's misery, and to be paid for something so heinous -- that's a crime."
The victim's friends and family said they hope Robinson spends the rest of his life in jail thinking about the life he changed forever.
“She was looking for a wonderful future, and she is going to have one but it's going to take a long time for her to recover from this,” Faulkner said.
Anyone who wishes to contribute money toward the victim’s recovery can do so through the Lilly Fund.
Preston State Bank
5944 Luther Lane, Ste. 100
Dallas, TX 75225