***READER DISCRETION IS ADVISED***
Posts about real school tragedy, crime and/or events can be upsetting.
BLOG POST #182: This week, I’m sharing research on a specific crime involving sexual assault at a high school.
There were sexual assault reports from more than ten victims over several years. In the end, eight victims, boys, and girls told the judge their shocking stories.
A 14-year-old freshman garnered the courage to bypass school administration—because he’d seen they weren’t addressing the issue—and went to the school’s resource officer, a detective with the local police department.
To Tell or Not To Tell
Three disturbed bullies, one a star football player, would enact forcible sexual abuse on classmates. Feeling embarrassed and degraded, most kids didn’t tell anyone. The abusers would hold kids down then rub their exposed genitals all over the kid’s faces, and worse – while at school.
One boy said although he was ashamed to tell anyone, he knew he had to when he couldn’t get out of bed, was peeing blood and had unbearable stomach pain.
This clearly crossed the line into sexual assault,” the County Attorney said.
Kick ‘em When They’re Down
After the 14-year-old boy who’d reported the abuse told the officer, he and his family were tormented by community members, called liars and racists.
The three alleged assailants were arrested and charged with multiple felonies.
In juvenile court, the 16-year-old pleaded guilty to eight counts of forcible sexual abuse. He’d been on home detention pending sentencing.
The judge said, “These are juveniles. They made a big mistake, bad judgment and, frankly, broke the law, but I don’t think you throw them in the ocean and cut the line.”
After much consideration, the judge sentenced the 16-year-old to probation, outpatient therapy, and he had to move in with his grandparents (approx. 200 miles away). He’ll re-evaluate the case and the boy’s behavior after 90 days. Any misconduct will result in his placement in an in-custody treatment program.
Two other teens charged also pleaded guilty and were given probation and community service.
Recent changes to laws affecting juveniles minimized the court’s options on sentencing.
What are your thoughts about this case? Do you think the boys should have served time in a juvenile facility? Join the conversation on the website. We talk about the sensitive subject of crimes occurring at or connected to schools. Your relevant comments are always welcome on the Research Blog.
Do you know of a school crime you’d like to share? Email me so we can discuss the details.
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