Please Help Bring Justice for Saraya
The 14-year old was abruptly taken off her medication then taken by a broken system.
14-year old Saraya Reyes was taken abruptly off her medication for her mental health issues. What happened next is horrifying.
HERE’S WHAT HAPPENED:
“Saraya Rees is a bright, beautiful, 14-year-old girl from Coos County, Oregon, who was wrongly sentenced to 11 years in juvenile prison without the possibility of parole. She will be 25 years old when even eligible for parole, having missed out on the entirety of her formative teenage years.
With a documented history of mental health struggles, Saraya had also been regularly bullied at her school, Myrtle Point High, for being biracial. Her loving parents, Shannon & Manny, were advised she be put on anti-depressants and therapy after it was revealed that Saraya had been self-harming.
On July 8th, 2019, 3 days after being improperly taken off antidepressants cold-turkey by a pediatrician who was not Saraya’s regular doctor, 13-year old Saraya went into a manic state of psychosis at 4 am. It is not uncommon to experience delusions and hallucinations which distract from normal cognitive function during psychotic episodes that can last days or weeks at a time. In her manic state, Saraya poured a small amount of gasoline from a lawnmower onto her living room floor. Her dad woke up and found her sitting on the living room floor in a daze. As recommended by her doctor, in the event she showed signs of further self-harm, Saraya’s parents called the 24-Hour Crisis Team at Coos Health & Wellness Center who they expected to pick her up. Because it was the early hours of the morning, the Crisis Center elected to call the Myrtle Point Police and Coos County Sheriff’s Department instead who stormed their house, guns drawn, and handcuffed 95 lb Saraya in front of her parents and terrified 3-year-old sister.
Coos Health & Wellness claimed that Saraya was supposed to be transported to the Bay Area Hospital but they lost track of her, indicating in Saraya’s files that they “don’t know who called the police”, and that Myrtle Point decided they “didn’t need [Coos Health & Wellness] to respond at the time since they had enough to take her to Bay Area Hospital.”
Saraya was, however, taken to the police department where she was read her Miranda rights without a parent or attorney present and informed that she was under arrest. Still, at this time, Saraya was in severe, manic psychosis and stated she just “wanted to sleep”. Instead, she was questioned further, once again without a parent or attorney, and was coerced into making statements that were later used against her in court.
The DA determined that Shannon & Manny were “victims” of Saraya’s planned “arson and intent to murder” her parents and baby sister. The DA claimed she poured gasoline all over each of them and the house. This is false. In fact, she had poured gasoline on a small patch of carpet in the living room that was later removed and taken as evidence. Saraya maintains that she never intended on lighting a fire, and that the poured gas was a cry for help. She was a young, adolescent girl dealing with a mental illness. But because her parents (who never pressed charges) were considered “victims,” they were not allowed to see or speak to Saraya for 23 days while she was held at a detention center. ”
Shannon and Manny have not been able to see their daughter since March of 2020 because of the Covid situation. They miss their daughter terribly and want her to get the proper help she DESERVES.”– from change.org
BELOW LETTER FROM SARAYA, IN HER OWN WORDS, THEN TAKE ACTION AT LINKS BELOW:
TRIGGER WARNING: Mentions of self harm, suicidal thoughts, child criminalization, physical assault and sexual assault.
Dear mom, and dad,
I want you to post this on every social media platform that you can. I want you to do so, so that everyone knows how messed up the system is, and how messed up the state is. I don’t care if people know about my “crimes”, and I dont care if people know I’m in prison. All I care about is letting people know the truth. This is for me, and all of the rest of the kids in the system. This is what really goes on in this state.
This is the truth…I am Saraya Rees. I’m 14 years old and I am being charged with attemped murder x2, and attempted agravated assalt x1. I was arrested July 8th, 2019. I was in detention for 3 months and 9 days. I spent my 14th birthday in juvy. Not only that but I [was] sexually, and Physically harrased and the staff did nothing to help.
I Physically hurt myself in Juvy even tho I was on suicide watch, they allowed the boys to make sexuall gestures; and comments to all of the females. The staff at my juvy made fun of people who self-harm, and or have attemped suicide. They would do that right in front of the kids who have done that. Out of all the staff there was only one that was respectul. That staffs name was Tom (Thank you Tom for helping me through all the BS.)
The reason I’m telling (whoever it may concern) this, is so you know what really happens in the system. But now Im going to tell you why Im really stuck in prison. I am being held in prison because I cried for help. People who know me know Ive done many things as a cry for help. This was of all the biggest what I did was pour a small amount of gasoline on the floor at my house. I was never going to light it but the police and the court all said otherwise. When it comes to court they don’t care about the facts they care about tearing people, and families apart. The kids that they arrest are the kids who are being sexually and Physically abused at home, the teen moms, the kids looking for love in the wrong Places becaus there families dont want them, the kids who are hurt, the kids who are suicidal. They arrest the missundersood and that is not fair.
They arrest kids even if they never committed the crimes, they arrest the kids for no reason sometimes…
As citizens of Oregon we need to take a stand. We need to stick up to this injustice.
Please help get the kids like me who, without there families have nothing to hold onto, no reason to continue living, out of places like this…Please
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