OAKLAND -- A 48-year-old Oakland woman accused of sexually assaulting a 9-year-old girl with a hammer after forcing her into a school bathroom stall last month will undergo a psychiatric evaluation, her attorney said.
Haseemah Abdo Diame, charged with sex crimes in connection to the May 30 incident at Lafayette Elementary School, appeared in Alameda County Superior Court to enter a plea on Friday but a judge postponed the hearing to July 11. Her attorney, Roni Rotholz, asked to reschedule the hearing so his client could undergo an evaluation.
Jailed on $1 million bail since June 3, Diame appeared in court wearing a red jail jumpsuit and was assisted by an Arabic interpreter during the brief hearing.
When it was finished, her family sitting in the courtroom gallery, left without speaking to anyone else.
According to a police probable clause declaration, the student told officers that Diame forced her into the stall, stripped her pants, and then penetrated and struck her vagina with the hammer.
"Don't tell your mom," Diame reportedly told the girl before ordering her out of the stall. The girl told police that when she could not stand up, Diame punched her with a closed fist several times.
Police reported that the girl escaped, running and yelling for help after a school security guard entered the bathroom. Diame, who has a child attending the school and was working there as a volunteer, was arrested on the West Oakland campus after a bloodied hammer reportedly fell from her clothing in view of police. The girl was taken to UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland for treatment.
Diame was being held in a psychiatric hospital June 3 when the Alameda County District Attorney's Office charged her with a sex crime on a child under age 10 and forcible sexual penetration on a child. Her charges carry allegations that the crimes occurred in the course of a kidnapping and caused mayhem and torture. An additional special allegation accuses Diame of using a deadly weapon.
Authorities have not released a motive for the attack. A school district official previously said that some suspected it was the result of a feud between Diame and the girl's family, but police have said that the girl's family reported having no problems with Diame in the past.
Contact Natalie Neysa Alund at 510-293-2469. Follow her at Twitter.com/nataliealund.