2 Milford Mill students charged in rape of girl, 15, at the school

Two other teens sought in attack in elevator

October 16, 2001|By Tim Craig | Tim Craig,SUN STAFF

Two Milford Mill Academy students are being held in the Baltimore County Detention Center in lieu of $10,000 bail after being charged with raping a 15-year-old girl in a school elevator.

The students -- Rodney Diggs, 17, of the 7400 block of Rockridge Road and Brandon J. Hughes, 17, of the 3500 block of Melody Lane -- are charged as adults with first-degree rape, police said. Bail was set yesterday in District Court.

County police said they are searching for two other boys -- also Milford Mill students -- in the assault last week.

"We are trying to get everyone rounded up neatly without scaring everybody away," said Bill Toohey, a department spokesman, adding that is why police did not disclose the incident until being asked about it yesterday.

Court documents said the girl got in an elevator on the second floor about 9:30 a.m. Wednesday with four male students. The boys stopped the elevator, locked the doors and began "pulling at her clothing and touching her body," the document said.

Two of the boys began sexually assaulting the girl, according to the charging document.

"She stated she was telling them to stop and to leave her alone," the charging document said. "But they continued the assault for several minutes."

The girl was allowed to leave the elevator on the second floor.

Hughes and Diggs, who uses a wheelchair, turned themselves in Thursday at Garrison Precinct and were interviewed by police.

They were charged Friday night and held without bail over the weekend, police said.

Only Diggs was apparently allowed in the elevator, which requires a key and is for students and faculty who cannot climb stairs.

As for the other students, "my understanding is they were just catching a ride," said Cpl. Vickie Warehime, a police spokeswoman.

"It concerns us greatly that an incident like this could -- and apparently did -- happen in the school," said school system spokesman Charles A. Herndon. But "it's virtually impossible to monitor every possible location a student may be 24 hours a day."

Carver Rose, grandparent of a Milford Mill student, said she was upset that parents were not notified. "They did not say anything to the parents or the kids," said Rose of the 2600 block of Purnell Drive. "I just found it kind of strange that parents were not notified."

Herndon said the school would not formally notify students or parents -- a process typically done by sending a letter home -- about "an isolated incident."

"Milford remains a safe school," he said.

Sun staff writer Stephanie Desmon contributed to this article.

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