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Old 04-16-2005, 04:34 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Location: North of Mexico, South of Canada
Sexual assualt in high school


After spotting and reading this on Yahoo, I am quite angry.
A young special education student was sexually assulted by a group of boys who videotaped their assualt.

The idea that a principal of a school would urge a parent not to report that their child had been sexually assulted, for no other reason than to avoid media attention, is disgusting.

I can see no reason the boys involved should not be charged as adults and be required to register as sex offenders for the rest of their lives after serving their sentances.
I also see no reason not to force sentances upon the administration involved in this incident.

What are your thoughts?

Artical follows:


By NICK JULIANO, Associated Press Writer Sat Apr 16, 4:47 PM ET

The girl was led by the arm behind a stage curtain in the auditorium. There, witnesses said her lip was bloodied and she was sexually assaulted by a group of boys, an attack videotaped by one student and watched by more than a dozen others who came running as word spread.

Within minutes, the developmentally disabled girl reported the alleged assault to a special education teacher, who said the girl "looked dazed and confused and was crying."

But principals didn't immediately notify police for fear of media attention, in violation of state law. When the girl's father arrived, he was asked not to call 911. He ignored the request and called police.

Now administrators at Mifflin High School face the possibility of being charged along with students in the alleged March 9 assault at the school, which has a history of violence.

"Even if you are following the common sense measure, absolutely, none of this should have happened," Gene Harris, district superintendent, said Friday.

The district said it will fire Principal Regina Crenshaw and has suspended three assistant principals. Police have not said who will face charges, but a city attorney said school officials could be prosecuted along with the alleged assailants.

Witness statements to school investigators paint a picture of a slipshod response to the alleged assault, which came on the heels of other problems. Earlier in the day, administrators had to deal with an assault on a Somali student and a report that a student had a concealed weapon.

Just after noon, the girl said four boys grabbed her by the arm. Students said one assailant punched the girl in the face and she dropped to her knees. One of the boys told her, "If you scream I'll have all my boys punch you."

She was forced to perform oral sex on at least two boys, according to statements from school investigators.

A student who had a camera for a school project videotaped the alleged assault, illuminated by light from a cell phone. Another witness said at least 15 people were in a room that looked into the auditorium because they had heard what was happening.

When some students eventually went to look for an adult, the boys involved in the alleged assault fled.

Police have not said how many boys may be charged, but plan to give their evidence to prosecutors early this coming week. Potential charges could include delinquency counts of rape and pandering obscenity, said spokeswoman Sherry Mercurio.

The boys, who have not been publicly identified, are not expected to return to class this school year, district spokesman Andrew Marcelain said.

Whether school administrators will be charged is unclear. State law requires officials to immediately report cases of abuse to law enforcement or face up to 30 days in jail and a $250 fine, said City Attorney Richard C. Pfeiffer Jr.

However, he said officials would be charged only if someone filed a complaint. So far, no complaint has been filed. An attorney for the girl's father would not say if he planned to file one.

The school also is investigating the possibility of earlier assaults against the girl. Lisa Upshaw-Haider, the special education teacher, said boys previously had oral sex with the girl on a bus and tried to pull down her pants at school.

After the alleged assault was reported, the school was locked down while administrators frantically tried to find the videotape and identify suspects. The school's police officer was away for training that day.

"I could only imagine what we might be facing if that tape made it out of the building to later show up on the Internet or who knows where," Assistant Principal Vincent Clarno told investigators.

Clarno said he summoned the principal, who was meeting with two assistant principals and district officials about schedules and curriculum. Crenshaw remained in the meeting, Clarno said.

Crenshaw declined to comment. A message was left at a phone listing for Clarno.

Assistant Principal Rick Watson told investigators he reviewed the tape with other school officials and concluded there had been no coercion.

When the girl's father arrived, Watson said he advised him to call the non-emergency police line, not 911, because "our fear was that a news channel might tape his daughter and cause her further mental trauma."

School district policy warns that calling police might draw media attention.

It also says that although administrators must sometimes make judgment calls when deciding whether to notify authorities, "the committing of assaults do not normally warrant 'judgment calls.'"

The girl's father referred questions to his lawyer, Gary Shroyer, who declined to comment. Phone numbers could not be found for Watson or Upshaw-Haider.

Last week, school administrators discouraged a reporter from trying to interview students at the school.

Shirley Justice, 64, whose granddaughter attends the school, said administrators who handled the situation should be fired.

"You don't know if your kids are safe," she said.
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Old 04-16-2005, 04:38 PM   #2 (permalink)
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The administration should be charged. The kids and their parents should be charged. I hope to hear the school administration is in prison. Do they have any morals at all?!
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Old 04-16-2005, 06:09 PM   #3 (permalink)
That's just plain sad.These boys need a record,and be kicked out of school for atleast 5 years.
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Old 04-16-2005, 06:51 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I wonder what the assistant principal quoted in the following link defines coercion as?
Principal Fired for Failing to Report Sex Assault Case
One of the three assistant principals, Richard Watson, said he had found the videotape and then viewed it with other administrators. Their conclusion, they told investigators, was that there had been no coercion.
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Old 04-16-2005, 08:06 PM   #5 (permalink)
Yet another reason my kids, when I have them, will be home-schooled.
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Old 04-16-2005, 09:05 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Unfortunate and despicable that it would happen.

I don't blame the administration - It was probably a split decision that in hindsight was very unwise, but it makes sense. Instead of just dealing with the family they have to also deal with the media, which can be brutal at times, especially in attacking the school even though they're not particularly at fault for what happened to the student.
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Old 04-16-2005, 09:49 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I wish I had more background. At this point, I'm very hesitant to formulate an opinion. However, the urgency was over. The girl was no longer in imminent danger. Calling 911 probably was not warranted. The police should have been called in on the non-emergency number. Without seeing the tape, there is no way of knowing whether coercion took place or not. The tape will tell volumes. If these little pricks did assault her...then throw the goddamn book at 'em. If it's found that the administration was trying to cover up the incident in order to save face, then charge them with complicity.
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Old 04-16-2005, 10:58 PM   #8 (permalink)
follower of the child's crusade?
well, clearly if any of the boys are found guilty of rape, they should face the standard penalties for this - which I would guess would be between 15-25 years.

if a crime did take place, then the school administration responsible for trying to supress this should also face charges for failing to report a crime and obstructing the course of justice - Im not sure of the normal sentences, but I would assume 2-3 years would be appropriate in this case.

It would also be necessary to consider bringing charges against the audience... but it would depend on whether they were participants, or had tried to stop/report the crime. As one administrator said that the activitry could be interpreted as consensual, their could have been some doubt in the minds of the audience as well.
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Old 04-17-2005, 12:04 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Nope, sexual assaulters do not (as far as I know) get anywhere near 15-25. I guess it also depends on which state too. Our criminal laws are really pathetic here.

Besides, if unwanted digital rectal penetration is not sexual assault (like in the other thread), then neither is this horseplay with the retarded girls. It's just boys being boys right? It's all this political correctness gone too far.

I want know why all the other kids just stood there and watched a fellow human being be assaulted. One even filmed it. And no one thought to get a teacher? Wow, that's some really bad parenting.

I'm not sure but I thought retards can't give consent. Something about mental capacity. Wasn't there a case like this a while back?
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Old 04-17-2005, 01:17 AM   #10 (permalink)
follower of the child's crusade?
firstly, I dont think "retard" is considered a very appropriate term for someone with educational disabilitiues

secondly, forcing someone to engage in oral sex through the use of violence is rape, not "sexual assault" - as such they should be prosecuted accordinly, and if found guilty they should receive the appropriate treatment for rape crimes - which would be a significant custodial sentence and rehibiliation programme (sic)

As for the bystanders, I think we woudl need to know more... some of them did seek help, some of them may not have fully understood what was going on, some may have been threatened with violence also... anyone who was participating in the attack or assisting it in anyway of course should be prosecuted acordingly.

Im not sure how much of a political debate there can be here,

If these kids raped a girl, then they will be punished by the law for rape.

if it is shown the school administration attempted to obstruct the course of justice, then they shall be punished according to the law

A criminal investigation is necessary, and will take place, and those who have broken the law will answer to it.

Of course, it is a horrible event, but I dont see the "politics" side of it. if someone attempts to supress evidence and obstruct justice, whether they are a school administrator or anyone else, this is a crime and they will be prosecuted for it, and tried before a jury, and sentenced to jail time if found guilty. Where is there a debate about how this should be treated? To me it is pretty clear.
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hidden will not become manifest, and nothing covered will remain
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Old 04-17-2005, 05:07 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by jorgelito
I'm not sure but I thought retards can't give consent. Something about mental capacity. Wasn't there a case like this a while back?
Late 80s -- in Glen Ridge, NJ - bunch of popular football players assaulted a mentally challenged classmate while other football players looked on. The boys were all convicted but to the best of my knowledge, none of them served any time at all.

At minimum, this is 4th degree sexual assault, because based on a defintion found in the sexual offenders thread, 4th degree assault is sex with someone who is incapable of giving consent by reason other than age.
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Old 04-17-2005, 07:18 AM   #12 (permalink)
follower of the child's crusade?
yeah, but if the report is true... and she was punched and threatened with a beating if she did not perform oral sex... the capacity to give informed consent is irrelevant,,, it is rape. I have to admit, it is very hard to understand that someone would just watch this, let alone a group of 10 or so people (if 4 were carrying out the alleged rape and there was a group of roughly 15)... it would take at least a couple of broken arms or legs to make me be a passer by to a rape.
"Do not tell lies, and do not do what you hate,
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hidden will not become manifest, and nothing covered will remain
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Old 04-17-2005, 12:54 PM   #13 (permalink)
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The whole thing is just....disturbing.

I definitely think it's sexual assault and even rape but I can't help but feel skeptical these days cause of all the fancy lawyering that frees criminals. I have that uneasy feeling that these kids will get off. Then they will not fear nor respect the law cause they now know the law can't touch them.

It also appears as though there was a pattern of harrassment of the mentally retarded girl by those kids. Where's the supervision? Maybe retarded kids shouldn't mix in the general population for their own safety. If I was her father, I'd be furious.

Man, if those kids get that attorney from the other case (rectal penetration), they'll all get off scott-free. I'm almost tempted to send my kids to school armed (and trained of course).

It just seems to me that kids these days are out of control. Or is it just media sensationalism?

There was a 13 year old who beat to death a 15 year old with a baseball bat for no reason.

There was yet another "brawl, riot" at a high school involving 50 plus kids in Santa Monica. All in the same week.

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Old 04-18-2005, 10:46 AM   #14 (permalink)
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If she's underage, they can probably be charged with making child porn too.

Originally Posted by willravel
The administration should be charged. The kids and their parents should be charged. I hope to hear the school administration is in prison. Do they have any morals at all?!
CHarge the parents? How are they responsible? If we do that we might as well charge the makers of the video camera, the maker of the tape, batteries, etc. Why not add the company that built the auditorium and the govt officials responsible for approving the spending? They all should have know that a crime was going to be committed that day.

I wonder if the camera was bought at walmart. Gotta get in those deep pockets...
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Old 04-19-2005, 10:47 PM   #15 (permalink)
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All I can say is, if that was my kid, and they didn't call 911 as soon as they found out, I would have all their heads. Trying to brush things over just so the school doesn't get anymore bad press is just beyond belief. But then, this is pretty much what I have come to expect from people.
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Old 04-20-2005, 01:34 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Old 04-20-2005, 04:33 AM   #17 (permalink)
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As a starting Engrish teacher I can only say that the school directors failed in their first goal. To create an atmosphere within the school in which students can relax, feel safe and at home. Their first responce should have been for the safety of the environment of the school, meaning call the police, calm the girl, search for the boys and call the parents of all involved.

If you can not trust you teachers to do the right thing how can you ask that of the pupils. Furthermore all the lega issues aside (under age, accountable etc) what they did was sickening (if it is true) no matter who the victim is. If they are not guilty od assault, rape, GBH or what not the judicial system needs a grand revamping and rethinking. Cause this can never be acceptable in a civilised environment

just my 5 cents
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assualt, high, school, sexual

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