The man Mujey Dumbuya accused of rape had been accused before — but he still worked in her school district
Now he’s a person of interest in her death
by Katie Way
Two days later, she was identified as the young woman set to testify against Quinn James, a man she accused of raping her multiple times when she was 15. Dumbaya was a student at Ridge Park Charter Academy in Michigan when the alleged sexual assault took place.
Dumbuya alleged that James forced her to have sex with him multiple times in different locations. James was eventually charged with four counts of criminal sexual conduct with a minor, and Dumbuya was set to testify against him in April.
Now, he's a person of interest in the investigation around Dumbuya's disappearance and death.
And it wasn't the first time James had been accused of sexual assault — in 2014, another teenage girl accused him of rape, a charge that he was arrested in connection with on February 1 of this year. He is also a convicted felon, and has spent time in jail on armed robbery charges, among others.
Following the 2014 accusation, James remained an employee of Dumbuya's school district in Kentwood, Michigan
According to a statement the Kentwood Public School District's superintendent gave Buzzfeed News, James was hired to be member of the grounds and maintenance crew in 2011, "had very little contact with students and none as part of his job responsibilities," and apparently hid his past convictions.
The superintendent also said that when James's criminal past "came to the attention of school leadership" he was investigated and fired.
Family of 16-year-old Mujey Dumbuya are pleading for answers after she was found dead in Kalamazoo Sunday… She was last seen January 24th heading to the bus for school in GR where she lives, family can't wrap their heads around who would want to kill her – at 6 @WOODTV pic.twitter.com/YHg6UVBDeM
— Sarah Hurwitz (@sehurwitz) February 1, 2018
But it didn't come to the school district's attention soon enough for Dumbuya, as court records show he was still employed when she came forward in 2017
The failure of KPSD to protect students from a man who had already been accused of criminal sexual misconduct with a teenager a year younger than Dumbuya is an egregious example of the way that we fail young women — particularly young black women.
According to a statement issued Thursday by Dumbuya's family, she was a "generous, energetic young woman" who wanted to make the world a better place. "Mujey was looking forward to graduating from high school next year," the statement said. "She wanted to be a police officer to help fight against social injustice, including racism."