Police probe rape report at school Student implicates male acquaintance

April 28, 1993|By Traci A. Johnson | Traci A. Johnson,Staff Writer Staff writers Amy L. Miller, Mary Gail Hare and Anne Haddad contributed to this article.

State police are investigating a South Carroll High School student's report that she was raped in a stairwell in the school building.

The girl told school officials she was sexually assaulted Monday morning by a male student with whom she was acquainted, police said.

"We were notified by school authorities that the incident had taken place," said 1st Sgt. Donald Hoffman of the state police Westminster Barracks. "We are still investigating."

Police questioned the suspect yesterday and established he and the girl are acquainted, Sergeant Hoffman said.

The accused youth has not been charged nor is he being detained by police, Sergeant Hoffman said.

South Carroll High School Principal David Booz said he could not discuss the details of the incident, but he said the school was dealing with the issue.

"The matter is being investigated by the police and by the school," he said. "We are certainly concerned about the welfare of our students."

Mr. Booz said his staff had not made a general announcement about the incident to the students, and he would not comment on whether counseling would be available to concerned students once word of the assault spread.

At least one county pupil services worker and the head of guidance had gone to the Winfield school yesterday, according to staff members who answered the phones in those offices.

However, Peter B. McDowell, director of secondary education, would not confirm that a crisis team was dispatched to the school.

Mr. McDowell made a statement almost identical to that of Mr. Booz and said he could say little else "because of students' rights, and because the investigation is ongoing and I don't want to jeopardize it."

In an unrelated case three years ago at Westminster High School, a 15-year-old student was charged with second-degree rape, second- and fourth-degree sexual offenses, and assault and battery after he was accused of raping a 14-year-old freshman acquaintance.

The accuser in that case said she was walking with the youth around 3:15 p.m. April 25, 1990 when he attacked her at the bottom of a stairwell while one boy acted as a lookout and another watched.

Rape charges were dropped about two months later, but the youth was found delinquent in juvenile court of performing a perverted act. He does not have a criminal conviction in this case on his record.

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