Police investigate off-campus rape claim made by Woodlawn High School student

Two male classmates face disciplinary hearings

October 20, 2004|By Sara Neufeld | Sara Neufeld,SUN STAFF

Baltimore County police say they are investigating a Woodlawn High School students allegation that she was raped after she left the campus with two other students during school hours last week.

The girl was found lying in an alley in the 1500 block of Clairidge Road in western Baltimore County at 2:48 p.m. last Wednesday, said Officer Shawn Vinson, a Police Department spokesman. She was taken to St. Agnes HealthCare. The next day, she told police she had been raped.

The girl left Woodlawn's campus with two male students, and the trio went to a house and drank alcoholic beverages, Vinson said. The girl told police that one of the boys had sex with her in the house while she was drunk, the spokesman added.

Police did not give the girl's age. Police had not made any arrests in connection with the incident yesterday. Woodlawn Principal Daric V. Jackson said the two boys are not attending classes this week, and they face disciplinary hearings before the school board.

Jackson said the girl has not returned to school. He said he believes she left campus voluntarily with the boys about 10 a.m. Wednesday.

The day after the alleged assault, before school let out, the girl's brother and six other young men arrived at Woodlawn High seeking retribution, said Police Department spokesman Bill Toohey. They had a bat, a box cutter and some other weapons, but not a gun, he said.

A police officer assigned to the school told the group to leave, Toohey said. They left but came back, and the officer arrested them, he said. Court records show the men were charged with trespassing and possession of a deadly weapon on school property. All seven were released to await court appearances in January and were ordered to stay away from the school.

Last week's events came as an especially hard blow for Woodlawn High, which is trying to remake its image under Jackson's leadership. In an article last month about the new principal, The Sun wrote of his efforts to prevent students from cutting class. In previous years, Woodlawn students have frequently wandered through the halls and off campus.

Jackson said he is investigating how the three students were able to leave during the school day. He said he, his vice principals and two police officers assigned to the school constantly patrol the halls, the grounds and the surrounding neighborhood.

In a letter sent home to parents saying that a student had been "assaulted," Jackson wrote, "We will continue to do all we can to provide our students with a safe and orderly environment that promotes learning."

Sun staff writers Julie Bykowicz and Lisa Goldberg contributed to this article.

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