5 Washington high school football players charged with sexually assaulting special-ed student
Five high school football players from Kirkland, Washington were charged on Friday with second-degree attempted rape after allegedly sexually assaulting a special-education student in their locker room last October, according to The Seattle Times.
The students, who were expelled from Juanita High School, have not been named because of their ages. According to authorities, four of the students are 15-years-old and one is a 14-year-old.
According to court documents, the 18-year-old special-education student was lured into the shower area of the locker room, then held down by three of the boys, who pulled down his pants and underwear as another boy attempted to sodomize him with a broomstick handle.
Text messages and witness accounts prior to the assault lead investigators to believe that the attack was planned in advance.
Multiple students witnessed the attack, which reportedly lasted about 30 seconds, with several students telling Kirkland Police Department investigators that they saw one student recording the assault on his cellphone.
According to the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, “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.”
Administrators at the school put two Juanita football coaches on administrative leave following the incident, with both returning to their district jobs in January following an internal investigation.
Principal Gary Moed wrote a letter to parents of children attending the school saying new policies have been put in place in the locker room and on the campus.
“Five students have been charged with a very serious crime,” Moed wrote. “The possibility that an incident of this nature could occur at Juanita High School has been devastating to this school and our community. This incident is not reflective of what we all know that Juanita High School represents. Our school has worked hard to make every student feel welcome and safe.”
All five students are expected be arraigned in juvenile court on Feb. 20.