WEST SACRAMENTO -- The mother of a West Sacramento boy allegedly sexually assaulted by a member of his church last year is speaking out in her son's defense after the case against the suspect was recently dismissed for lack of evidence.
“They were talking about Rolis’s rights more than they were talking about my son’s rights," Amanda Luster said.
Luster spoke with FOX40 over the phone Thursday night because she had since moved her son out of town.
"West Sacramento is a small town and I didn't want him growing up with everyone knowing he's the kid that happened to," Luster said.
Luster said she was shocked and saddened when authorities announced that there was no physical evidence to prove that suspect Rolis Wheeler assaulted her son. She said she saw the trauma to her son's body with her own eyes. She specified that when her son went to the restroom shortly after the attack, he had heavy amounts of blood in his stool and that that his anus was dilated. She said she collected a sample and took her son to a hospital right away to be examined.
"I said what happened in the bathroom? And he said, 'Rolo touched me on the butt with his yucky pee pee and it was this big'," Luster said.
The alleged assault happened in October of 2016 in a bathroom on a school campus where New Discovery Christian Church rents space for its Sunday services.
Luster said she was singing in the church choir when her son left the room and went to the restroom. She said when she went to get him a short time later, Wheeler was walking out of the bathroom with him.
"And he looked nervous. He just made something up about helping [him] washing his hands because he didn't want to wash his hands," Luster said.
Luster said her son was then acting withdrawn. A short time later she said she saw his body and took him to get examined.
The Yolo County District Attorneys office told FOX40 that the case dismissal did not mean that Wheeler was innocent, and did not mean that the four-year-old boy was not a victim. They said it did not mean that they were investigating the wrong person, that it only meant there was not any physical evidence found to prove the allegations.
Wheeler's public defender Peter Borruso sent the following statement to FOX40:
“Mr. Wheeler did not commit this crime. He has maintained his innocence throughout this ordeal. I believe the evidence that was gathered after Mr. Wheeler’s arrest, which included additional witness statements and an analysis of all physical evidence, directly led to the dismissal of these inflammatory charges. Mr. Wheeler hopes to regain his life and his name in his community and put this nightmare behind him.”
And now that the case has been dismissed, some in the community are questioning the boy's mother, accusing her of making the story up to ruin Wheeler's reputation.
"I don’t have anything against Rolo to make that up. I don’t need the attention and I wouldn’t sit at a hospital for 10 hours with my kid getting DNA samples to make something up," Luster said.
FOX40 reached out to New Discovery Christian Church. Board members said they were voting this weekend in whether or not to allow Wheeler back into the church now that the case was dismissed and that God was healing hearts.
However, a member of the church who wished to remain anonymous called FOX40 to say that she would not be returning if Wheeler came back. Board members confirmed other members had similar reactions.
Wheeler is scheduled to appear in court again on May 11 at his request for a Finding of Factual Innocence hearing, which is an attempt to clear his name entirely and be proven innocent.
The Yolo County District Attorney's Office said it plans to oppose that motion. It also said it will not investigate Luster in relation to the case.