Two 14-year-old boys pleaded not guilty Tuesday in the alleged rape of a 16-year-old classmate in the locker room of their high school field house in Hot Springs, Arkansas. The names of the two boys and their victim, students at Lakeside High School, have not been released due to their status as juveniles, and it’s still undetermined if the males will be charged as juveniles or adults, according to Epoch Times.
According to ABC affiliate KATV, the girl said she was going to practice for an athletic activity after school last Wednesday when she was approached by the two boys, who forced her into the girls’ locker room. They then turned out the lights and held her down, sexually assaulting her.
The probable cause affidavit says that the boys initially grabbed her arms and buttocks before forcing her into the locker room and turning the lights off. Once she was inside, they took off her backpack and one of the boys held her from behind so she could not move. The affidavit continued to describe how one boy grabbed her breasts, then put his hands in his pants to penetrate her with his fingers, despite the girl pleading with them to be released.
“She continued to attempt to get away, but could not. The victim stated that, after approximately two minutes, she was able to break free and run outside.”
The girl reported the alleged locker room rape Thursday, and the two males were arrested and taken into custody last Friday. While Lakeside High School declined to give details, they released a statement, saying that they had informed the police of the incident immediately once it was reported to them.
The alleged sexual assault has shaken the small Arkansas community, which lies approximately an hour outside of Little Rock. Residents expressed shock to KATV that such a thing could occur in their community and on school grounds, including local resident Bobby Ward, who was caught off-guard by the news.
“That’s the first I’ve heard of it. I just, you know — It really just makes you mad. What? What? That happened there?”
Another resident, Bobby Dingler, also spoke about his concern after the locker room rape to KATV. Dingler’s girlfriend has a daughter who attends Lakeside High, which consists of approximately 1,200 students in grades eight through 12.
“[We’re] pretty shaken about the whole deal, about the safety and about what happened, about it could happen to anybody. Probably the comforting deal is that (my girlfriend) knows they not going to be at school anymore.”
While the local residents may be shocked, Teen Vogue cited some statistics when reporting the story that indicate rape is more common than most may think.
“One in six American women has been raped or has survived an attempted rape in her lifetime, and 82% of those sexual assaults are perpetrated by someone the victim knows. Forty-four percent of all rape victims are under the age of 18, and girls ages 16 to 19 are four times more likely than the general population to be victims of rape or attempted rape. While 12% of girls in grades 9 through 12 report having been assaulted, many rapes go unreported.”
The Epoch Times reported that Lakeside Superintendent Shawn Cook said Tuesday that they will be adding additional security measures in the wake of the alleged sexual assault, including more security cameras and two police officers on campus.
Both boys are currently being held at the Garland County Juvenile Detention Center, but entered the not-guilty pleas to rape charges in a preliminary hearing Tuesday afternoon. Their next hearing in the alleged locker room rape case is scheduled for March 11.
[Image via Joe Techapanupreeda/Shutterstock]