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Wednesday, July 06, 2022

Middle school students arrested for assault on classmate

Three middle school students were arrested this week in connection with the sexual battery of one of their classmates.

On Dec. 15 at Kanapaha Middle School, two 14-year-old males were accused of restraining and sexually assaulting a 13-year-old female when the teacher stepped out of the classroom. A 13-year-old male was also arrested for threatening to harm students who cooperated with the Alachua County Sheriff's Office investigation, said Steve Maynard, ASO spokesman.

The four students are mentally disabled.

According to the ASO arrest report, one of the male students rubbed the girl's legs and the other put his hand under her skirt.

The two male students then pushed her on the couch and held her down while one sexually assaulted her, according to the report.

The school reported the incident to ASO the following day.

"The ASO Special Victims Unit has undergone special training to be able to speak with children," Maynard said.

After the ASO Special Victims Unit spoke to the girl who was reportedly assaulted and students who were in the room, officials decided they had probable cause to arrest the two students, Maynard said.

One 14-year-old male student was arrested Monday and charged with sexual battery and false imprisonment, and another 14-year-old male student was arrested Tuesday and charged with false imprisonment.

The school board is investigating the portion of the crime that deals with the teacher leaving the classroom unattended, Maynard said.

Because all involved students are mentally disabled, he said it is up to the court to decide if the students knew they were committing a crime.

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