Shock and Horror Happened the Night Before a Basketball Tournament

***READER DISCRETION IS ADVISED***

Posts about real school tragedy, crime and/or events can be upsetting.

Robin Lyons' Blog Post #105This case made me think of a Stephen King quote, “We make up horrors to help us cope with the real ones.”

Researching and writing about creepy people and disgusting behavior is worth it when someone who’s read one of my stories or blog posts notices questionable behavior connected to a school and says or does something about it.

Thank you for taking the time to read my post. Keep your eyes open and never assume children are safe at school. If something seems amiss, it probably is. Say something.

BLOG POST #105: This week, I’m sharing research on a specific criminal case involving high school basketball players.

A freshman went on an overnight trip to a school sponsored basketball tournament and ended up in the hospital.

Locker Room Secrets

It had been a longstanding rite of passage for freshman basketball players to receive a ‘racking in’ from the older players. In other words, they received a beating.

Players routinely had not reported the abuse because they didn’t want to be labeled a ‘snitch.’ That year, one brave boy told the coach about the older boys’ conduct.

Criminal Hazing

While out of town, the coaches left the team unchaperoned to purchase groceries. It was during that window of opportunity the older players retaliated against the brave boy for reporting them.

The older boys beat four younger ones with a pool cue. If that wasn’t bad enough, two players held down the boy who reported them while a third upperclassman sodomized him with a pool cue.

When the coaches returned, they found the boy lying in a pool of blood. They took him to a medical center where he was treated and released.

The medical center, not the coaches, reported the incident to the proper authorities. State law mandated school employees report suspected child sexual abuse.

The next morning, the rape victim was taken to a hospital where surgery was performed to repair his damaged colon, prostate, and bladder. Let that sink in for a moment. The rape was so aggressive the boy’s bladder was damaged.

Short Term Consequence vs. Lifetime of Trauma

Three teens were arrested and charged with rape.

Two coaches and the director of athletics were arrested and charged with failure to report child sexual abuse.

There was a motion to move the teens’ trial to the adult court. The judge denied the motion. He stated the teens would have a better chance of rehabilitation in the juvenile system.

The County criminal judge said, “It’s hard for us to believe what a human being can do to another human being.”

The two teens that held the younger boy down were found guilty of aggravated assault and sentenced to sixty days in a juvenile facility.

The teen who committed the rape was found guilty of aggravated rape and remained in a juvenile facility for less than one year.

The judge dropped all charges against the coach and assistant coach because the language of the law stated school employees were mandated to report child sexual abuse if committed by a member of the child’s household. The law doesn’t address the moral obligation to report the crime. The law has since been updated.

The athletic director resigned from his position and agreed to 10-hours of community service working at a food bank.

What do you think about this case? Do you know of a school crime you’d like to share? Email me so we can discuss the details.

If you thought this case is an isolated incident, you should also read this post: High School Hazing

 

Thanks for reading!

-Robin

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The New Girl

the-new-girl-fbBLOG POST #89: She was new at the high school, a freshman. Her family moved to the United States from Ireland. You may have heard or read about her story in the news. Being the new kid at a school can be difficult. Nobody disputes kids can be mean.

She was bullied for the first three months of school. The bullies were relentless.  The new girl began dating a popular boy; this didn’t sit well with the bullies. They verbally abused her, they threw things at her, they wrote abusive comments on social media, they threatened physical abuse, and they sent hostile text messages. It takes a strong, self-confident teenager to weather the storm of mean comments made with no other purpose than to hurt. The 15-year-old victim in this case couldn’t take it, she committed suicide.

Six students were charged with felony and misdemeanor charges as a result of the bullying. The charges ranged from assault and battery to criminal harassment. One 18-year-old boy was charged with rape, although he denied having sex with her.

The conduct of those charged, the district attorney said, “Far exceeded the limits of normal teenage relationship-related quarrels.”

Five students accepted plea agreements and pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of criminal harassment. Three teens were sentenced to probation and 100 hours of community service. Two were sentenced to probation. The rape charge against the 18-year-old was dropped at the request of the victim’s family.

Many states have since enacted anti-bullying laws. Some require more accountability of school staff to respond to reported cases of bullying. At the time of this incident, when a new law was under consideration, a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives voiced concerns about responding to bullying rather than creating a culture change, “so that bullying is antithetical to a school’s culture…”

Worth mentioning: The victim’s family filed a complaint with the Massachusetts Commission against Discrimination alleging the school district failed to protect their daughter from discrimination. The family received a settlement of $225,000.

What do you think about this case? Do you think the sentences were just? What are your thoughts on mandating schools to be more responsive to reported bullying? Do you know of a school crime that you feel others should be made aware of? Email me so we can discuss the details.

Thanks for reading!

-Robin

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Sexual Assault Allegations

sexual-assault-allegations-fb-1BLOG POST #84: Assuming a sexual assault occurred in private, the only two people who know what happened are the accuser and the accused. Many accusations make it to trial but many more don’t. This week, I’m sharing my research about a rape case involving several high school students.

The 17-year-old accused asked the 14-year-old accuser if she wanted to go for a ride. She did. He parked in a secluded location near a river and asked the 14-year-old girl if she wanted to make-out. After she declined his advances he forced himself on her.

He dropped her off at a friend’s home. The traumatized teen told her friend what the 17-year-old had done. The friend said she also experienced a forced sexual encounter with the same boy. The boy harassed the most recent victim by sending her SnapChat photos of his bloody boxers.

The girl told her parents three days after the attack. Her parents took her a hospital where an examination found evidence of trauma consistent with sexual assault. Law enforcement began an investigation.

The Prosecutor said, “I am incredibly proud of the victim in this case. She is a courageous young woman who stood up to her rapist by coming forward. Her courage will help protect other young women.”

During the investigation, other students harassed the victim. They accused her of lying. At one point school administrators found the victim crying in a closet.

The Prosecutor said to those who harassed the victim, “This is an opportunity for self-reflection and improvement. We cannot tolerate a culture that blames rape victims.”

There was enough evidence to charge the teen with a felony, second degree rape and a misdemeanor, child molestation. The teen had a broken hand during an interview with investigators. An investigator asked how he broke his hand, he said he has an anger problem and he hit a cement wall too hard. When asked why he sent the SnapChat photos, he said he thought it was funny because she was a virgin.

Three other girls came forward and said the teen sexually assaulted them. An amendment to the state’s constitution passed in 2014, allowed the prosecutor to include evidence about prior sex crimes that were never charged.

Rather than go to trial, the teen pleaded guilty to rape and child molestation. The court sentenced the teen to eight years in prison, register as a sex offender and will have a lifetime of supervised release. Because this criminal is in the state prison system, he will most like be released in less than eight years.

What are your thoughts? Do you think the boy’s arrogance mixed with his anger problem is a warning sign of more serious crimes in the future? Do you know of a school crime that you feel others should be made aware of – send me an email and we can discuss the details.

Thanks for reading!

-Robin

Stay informed about the School Marshal series and everything related. Sign-up for regularly emailed updates on:

  • Release dates
  • Exclusive content
  • Interesting research
  • Free books to review