Hyattsville teen charged with rape

March 11, 2009|By Don Markus | Don Markus,

An 18-year-old Hyattsville man has been charged with raping a 15-year-old girl at the Laurel private school they both attend, Howard County police said yesterday.

John Louis Rivers Jr. of the 1800 block of Cedarwood Court was arrested at his home Monday and is being held on $100,000 bond in the county detention center, the county state's attorney's office said. Rivers was charged with first- and second-degree rape and second-degree assault.

The attack occurred Friday afternoon at the Phillips School on Whiskey Bottom Road, police said.

According to charging documents filed in Howard County District Court, the girl was sent to in-school detention after being late to class. On the way to the detention room, she sat down to "cool off" in a stairwell, where she encountered Rivers. She told police she had talked with Rivers in the past, but did not consider him a friend, according to court documents.

The girl told police that after a few moments of conversing, Rivers raped her, according to the court documents. After the girl told a school administrator that she had been injured, an ambulance was called. Paramedics took her to Howard County General Hospital.

After speaking with the girl, detectives served a warrant at Rivers' home about 8 a.m. Saturday and recovered evidence, police said. Though declining to give details about the evidence yesterday, police said they arrested Rivers without incident Monday.

Rivers told police that the sex was consensual, the charging documents said.

At a bail hearing yesterday, Assistant State's Attorney Tricia Cecil asked District Judge Pamila J. Brown to hold Rivers on no bond or to set bond at $1 million. A preliminary hearing has been set for April 9.

According to its Web site, the Phillips School is a private special education day school with locations in Laurel and Annandale, Va. The nonprofit schools serve "children with multiple disabilities, behavioral problems, emotional difficulties, learning disabilities, mental retardation and autism," the Web site says.

Calls to the school were referred to Sally Sibley, president of Phillips, and were not returned yesterday evening.

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