Thursday, June 4, 2009
4 teens charged as adults in locker room sexual assault case
(CNN) -- Four teenage boys in Tampa, Florida, were charged as adults Wednesday on allegations of sexually assaulting a 13-year-old boy.
Lee Louis Myers, 14, from Tampa, Florida, is one of the defendants in the case.
1 of 3 Charged with four counts each of sexual battery were Randall John Moye, 14; Raymond A. Price-Murray, 14; Lee Louis Myers, 14; and Diamante J. Roberts, 15. CNN is naming the defendants because they were charged as adults.
Hillsborough County prosecutors allege the four boys raped the 13-year-old victim multiple times over two months with a broomstick and hockey stick.
At a bond and arraignment hearing, the defendants appeared before Hillsborough County Judge Wayne Timmerman to hear the counts against them read in court.
Prosecutor Kimberly Hindman described to the court how two defendants held down the victim while the other two defendants violently sodomized him with the sticks. "The victim screamed and cried, telling them to stop," Hindman said.
The prosecutor said the victim's screams could be heard outside the boys' locker room at Walker Middle School, in southern Tampa, where the allegedly assaults took place.
Multiple people witnessed the attacks, but no one reported the incidents, including the victim, Hindman said.
The school began an investigation after a fight that began on the football field and continued until a coach broke it up in the locker room, said the prosecutor. During the fight, the victim said, "I'm tired of them getting on me," Hindman said.
When school officials questioned the defendants, all four admitted in a written statement sexually assaulting the victim.
The defendants "all implicated themselves in a sexual-battery incident," Hindman said.
The victim did not acknowledge the attacks until questioned. School officials contacted authorities, who initially charged the four as minors with sexual assault and false imprisonment.
Several students witnessed the incidents over the two months, said the prosecutor, who added that she could not understand why no one reported the attacks.
The victim made a statement in court, telling the judge how his father was angry and his mother couldn't stop crying when they heard about the attacks.
Defense attorneys told the judge their clients were good students and had never been in trouble before. Attorney Tim Taylor, representing Randall Moye, said his client's family is among the finest in the community.
Taylor presented six character witnesses, including his client's mother, Jeanne Myers, who said her son wants to attend college. The prosecutor asked her about her son's written statement about the attacks. Myers said her son described clowning around in the locker room with a hockey stick. She added that he told her about holding down the victim for a few seconds.
The victim finished the academic year at home instead of returning to school, authorities said.
The judge set bond for each defendant at $15,000, with ankle monitors for all but one, who has left the area. The four boys were taken into custody in court and booked into the adult jail. The judge warned the four to have no contact with one another, the victim or any witnesses in the case.
The defendants could spend up to 120 years in prison if convicted on all four counts.
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