A Juanita High School rape case is making national headlines this weekend. Five high school students have been charged with the assault of a special needs student. According to King 5, the incident took place back in October at the high school. The five teens involved in the assault were players on the football team of Juanita High School. Four of the boys are 15-years-old and the fifth is 14-years-old.
The five teens convinced a 17-year-old special needs student, who also attends the school, to enter the locker room on October 22. From there, they pulled the boy into the shower room. Four of the students held the special needs boy down, but they stopped with their actions when one of them said it wasn’t “funny anymore.”
Reports state that a broomstick was used by the teens involved, and they used a cell phone to record the incident. Word had spread through the high school’s student body via text messages that members of the freshman football team planned a hazing.
The victim went home that night, and his aunt had no idea what happened to him at school. His aunt learned of the rape after the athletic director of the school called her to inform her of what happened the next day. She immediately called the police to report the rape. Students that witnessed the incident also called the police to report it.
The five teen boys were expelled by the school after the incident, and they have been charged with second-degree attempted rape. Four of the students have not admitted to being involved with the incident, but a fifth admitted that he planned to rape the victim that day. All five of the boys appeared in court on Friday.
The King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office did release a statement after the boys were charged.
“Although the incident does not appear to have been sexually motivated, the charges reflect that the attack involved an attempted or threatened penetration with a broom handle while one student was restrained by several others.”
Parents learned about the incident at the school by email. Susan Vossler, who has a daughter that attends the school, spoke about the incident with KIRO 7.
“It’s extremely disturbing. It bothers me that it wasn’t one kid, but it was five that were united and carried this act through.”
This incident shocked the community of Juanita High School. The principal of Juanita High School, Gary Moed, released his own statement about the incident on Friday.
“King County prosecutor has filed charges in the October assault of a student at Juanita High School. Five students were charged with attempted rape in the second degree of another student. The possibility that an incident of this nature could occur at Juanita High School has been devastating to this school and our community.
“Juanita High School and Lake Washington School District have cooperated fully with police and prosecutors regarding the incident. As it is an ongoing legal situation involving students, we are restricted on the information we can provide. The five students no longer attend Juanita High School.”
The statement also went on to reveal that the locker rooms are now locked when there is not an adult present. School security will also check locker rooms often to prevent students from entering when an adult is not around.
After the incident, two members of the football team staff were put on administrative leave in order for the school to investigate what happened and how it was handled. Both coaches have been reinstated.
The five boys will return to court for arraignment on February 20.
This shocking attack is putting another spotlight on incidents of male rape. They are not as rare as one might think. Men are less likely to report an incident of rape. Earlier this month, the Inquisitr shared Andrew’s story. He was raped during his first year at Brown University, and he reported the crime. His attacker was expelled from the university, but he learned that his attacker had raped two other men before him. Andrew’s attack happened in 2011.
Andrew shared how the attack changed his life.
“The process weighed on me from April to November… I could’ve had days of my sophomore year that I didn’t have to drag myself out of bed every morning… To know that (the hearing process) could have been prevented if they had expelled him the first time is incredibly upsetting. My sophomore year could have been totally different.”
Males often do not report their assaults because this topic is still considered taboo. Men do not want to be seen as weak.
In the case of Juanita High School, there were witnesses to the crime, but that is not always the case. What do you think of this shocking incident?