School Officials Held Off Reporting Rape Of Cops' Kids In Locker Room

Damascus High School personnel are required to immediately report sex assault allegations to local police.

Damascus, MD – Damascus High School officials failed to immediately contact police when they learned that four freshman football players had been sexually assaulted with broomsticks by their fellow teammates.

Two of the victims may have been targeted because they are the sons of law enforcement officers, WJLA reported.

Just days before the violent attack, the alleged ringleader of the group accused of sodomizing the boys told one of his future victims, “I know your dad is a police officer,” according to the news outlet.

He also allegedly demanded that the teen take off the Montgomery County Police Special Olympics t-shirt he was wearing.

“Take that f--king shirt off!” the alleged rapist, a 15-year-old lineman, told the boy. “F--k the police!”

One of the victim’s fathers told WUSA that he had “no doubt” that the teens were targeted because of their parents’ jobs.

School officials knew about the Oct. 31, 2018 attack just after it occurred, and discussed the situation in a group text message that day, The Washington Post reported.

The messages included the identity of three possible suspects, as well as the name of one of the victims.

But they sat on that information overnight, and opted to launch their own investigation the following day.

School officials pulled students out of class one-by-one, and ultimately questioned the suspects and the 14- and 15-year-old victims on their own – without police involvement.

They didn’t even bother calling the four victims’ parents, nor did they access medical care for them.

Instead, the boys were sent back to class.

According to Damascus High School spokesperson Derek Turner, school staff “first engaged law enforcement through the School Resource Officer [SRO]around 7 a.m. on November 1 and subsequently engaged with the Montgomery County Police Special Victims Investigation Division as new details emerged.”

They finally handed the investigation over to experienced sexual assault investigators at approximately 11:20 a.m. – over 16 hours after one of the victims’ fathers first notified school officials about the attacks.

The way the school handled the matter was in direct violation of the Montgomery County school district’s formal agreement with the police department, The Washington Post reported.

Under the agreement, school personnel must immediately report sexual assault allegations to the Montgomery County Police Department’s special victim’s unit.

“It’s absolutely absurd what the school did,” retired Montgomery County Police Special Victims Unit Commander James Humphries told the paper. “They’re not trained to do these types of investigations and these types of interviews.”

As many as 10 junior varsity football players stood by and watched as the four 15-year-old attackers raped their fellow players with a broomstick.

The teens shoved the broomstick through one victim’s underwear and into his body multiple times, according to prosecutors.

They jabbed two other victims in the buttocks with the broom handle, and beat up a fourth victim as he fought them off.

“There were lots of bystanders,” one of the victims said in a written statement. “They did not help.”

Another said he tried to escape, but that his teammates held him back.

“I tried my best to fight my way out of the locker-room, but it was like ten people and I was getting punched in the process,” he wrote in a statement.

“This wasn’t a prank, this wasn’t a hazing,” Montgomery Assistant State’s Attorney Carlotta Woodward said, according to The Washington Post. “This was rape, and multiple attempted rapes, of four freshman boys. The victims screamed and pleaded for them to stop. Instead, they went from one victim to the other.”

Despite the heinous nature of the attacks, Damascus High School Principal Casey Crouse described the situation as “allegations of hazing” in an email to parents and guardians later on the day of the school officials’ “investigation.”

“Today, my administration was informed of allegations of hazing by members of the junior varsity football team against their fellow team members,” Crouse said in the email. “These allegations are being investigated.”

Some argued that the principal’s message, as well as the school’s failure to immediately contact police, made the situation seem less serious that it actually was – especially for the traumatized victims.

“These were 14-year-old boys traumatized in front of their teammates through no fault of their own,” Commander Humphries told The Washington Post. “The last message they needed to be hearing, even inadvertently, was that this wasn’t incredibly serious.”

Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy praised the victims for their cooperation and willingness to discuss the attacks.

“When you’re 15 or 14 years old, and something like this happened to you and you’re a young boy…I’m not sure I’d have the courage to do what we’re asking some of these young kids to do,” McCarthy told The Washington Post.

According to prosecutors, at least two of the victims are working with therapists to help with the overwhelming emotional impact caused by the assaults.

One boy said he feels like the attack has changed the way others look at him.

“I am the kid who got the broom,” he said in a written statement.

Another teen said his life has been destroyed because he “was raped with a dirty broomstick in front of his teammates, by his own teammates.”

On March 21, a judge determined that the last of the four suspects charged with forcibly sodomizing the boys with a broomstick would be tried in juvenile court, just like his co-defendants, WUSA reported.

They were all originally charged as adults.

“A 15-year-old brain is not fully developed, even with a completely healthy 15-year-old,” Montgomery County Circuit Court Judge Steven G. Salant declared, according to The Washington Post.

The father of one of the victims said that the group’s ringleader, who is over six feet tall and weighs 245 pounds, “spent four years terrorizing the Damascus community” prior to committing the “violent rape,” WUSA reported.

He had five previous run-ins with the law, had over 100 disciplinary reports, and allegedly threatened another teammate with a broomstick shortly before the attack on the other four students.

But that suspect’s attorney, Daniel Wright, blamed Damascus High School officials for not stopping the heinous crimes his client perpetrated, and said that the allegations against him were a “character assassination.”

Wright said that the school had a history of student hazing, and that they knew his client, who has since been diagnosed with ADHD, was troubled.

They shouldn’t have left the locker room unattended, he added.

McCarthy denounced the judge’s decision to charge the fourth suspect in juvenile court, and specifically questioned how an ADHD diagnosis contributed to his alleged crimes.

"I don't think there is any causal connection between ADHD and violent sexual attack," McCarthy noted.

“I think that offends those families who have sons who are victims, but it also offends … the men and women in this community who have children who have ADHD, who are medicated, who know that their children are not violent sexual offenders — to suggest that that diagnosis leads to that conduct, I just don’t think is consistent,” he added, according to WTOP.

Tom DeGonia, an attorney for the victims and their families, said they were “outraged” by Salant’s decision.

“This was a horrible, heinous crime,” DeGonia he declared. “And it’s important for accountability, and it’s important for [the victims] to know that the criminal justice system views this as importantly to them as it is to the community.”

“This is something these young men are going to have to live with for the rest of their lives, and they are struggling with it daily,” he added.

Comments (43)
No. 1-27
Dutchuncle
Dutchuncle

Hate Crime charges MUST BE FILED. Examples need to be made,,and charges against the people who covered this up MUST be server. NO child should ever have to go through this again. EVER. charge the assailants as Adults and the Adults that covered it up should LOSE EVERYTHING.

JBo
JBo

[Principal Casey Crouse described the situation as “allegations of hazing”...]

Tell you what...let somebody get a broomstick, bend you over and put it where the sun don't shine and we'll see what you call it.

By the way, school officials are not trained, authorized, qualified or competent to conduct criminal investigations.

Patrick 69
Patrick 69

I am surprised some cop didn't "snap".

Shastabeau
Shastabeau

Heinous bullsh#t, that should have been handled the moment school officials found out! Hate and a sex crime! All these little bastards need to be in jail!

DieselDawg
DieselDawg

Odds are that this was a black on white hate crime. Sodimizing their white victims is a common MO of black haters when it is possible. On a related note, just this week in Atlanta:

Katarina
Katarina

These four victims should be owning that school and many jobs should be lost starting with the Principal. What a scum. Almost as bad as the rapers. Why kind of culture goes on in a school where 10 kids stand by and help with this atrocity?

Jamest1148
Jamest1148

Dissolve the football team. It sounds like this school can't even control their players in a enclosed environment, what makes them think they can control them on an open field? Besides, it sounds like this school is going to have to save as much money as possible for the lawsuit that's coming.

Woobie46
Woobie46

CIVIL SUITS MATTER! Sue them until they wish they were dead and gone. SUE!

Hartshorn
Hartshorn

THIS IS TOTALLY WRONG. THOSE BOYS NEED TO BE PUNISHED IN SUCH A WAY THEY'LL NEVER FORGET. SO THEY WON'T DO THAT AGAIN.

Memphis6
Memphis6

Every single person that was apart of that text messaging needs to be terminated or resign immediately. The family's hopefully have gotten attorney's an Sue the family's of everyone that just watched and did nothing to help. The long term affects on those boy will last the rest of their lives. If my son was one of the kids that watched I would be mortified, those parents obviously didn't instill a moral compass, compassion, or integrity if they had they would have at the very least gotten help from an adult to stop that disgusting assault. It unconscionable that so many adults didnt protect those boys.

Wish505
Wish505

Why is it that most school official feel they are above the law in fact they feel they are the law. They serve the public and work on public property.

Gramercy
Gramercy

I agree...dissolve the football team for starters...cannot be controlled off field so an assumption can be made that they are heinous on the field...punishment to fit the crime? Any old broomsticks around? Tit for tat? Eye for eye? Seriously, this crime should be of an "adult" accusation and the perpetrators handled appropriately! Get them away from all the other students...and suspend ALL THE TEAM indefinitely!!!

RIDGERUNNER
RIDGERUNNER

In case someone wonders why some people take the law into their own hands or goes into (vigilante mode) , this is why. The failure of the school officials to see that an immediate investigation by law officials should itself be a crime. Sounds like a case of "lets protect the schools reputation above everything else."

avrider
avrider

This is not a juvenile crime, this is an adult crime and should be treated as such. The world is getting so soft on sexual assault it is ridiculous. The boys are only going to be placed in a juvenile facility if even that. The school and the officials should be held liable for this incident as well. All should at the minimum should lose their jobs, and for the failure to follow the mandates of the law and the attempted cover they should be brought up on charges as well.

nenasmiller
nenasmiller

I agree that the football team should be done...over. Dissolve it completely. This whole situation is absolutely disgusting. These victims could be mentally and emotionally messed up for their whole lives now as these perpetrators basically get off with no consequences.

ManBearPig
ManBearPig

It's not funny when it's a police family being assaulted while unarmed is it?

NomonK
NomonK

There was an EVIL BULLY ringleader and 3 just as evil followers then there was numerous weak kneed onlookers. The entire team are cowards. People need to stop wrongdoing when you see it. There are times when you can't wait for authorities to arrive. Each is Accountable each needs to be held accountable.

Stanracer
Stanracer

The school failed these victims. The bleeding heart, hug-a-thug liberal judge failed these victims and ultimately the system will fail these victims with lax sentences. Sad but true.👎☹

Hawk3699
Hawk3699

School officials, both HS and college, have no business investigating criminal activity. This case smells of favoritism and the pure lack of common sense on the part of the so-called school officials. I wonder how they would feel if the sexual assault of one of their family members went unreported. Sixteen hours gives people a lot of time to get rid of evidence. I wouldn't be surprised if parents of the assailants and observers were immediately contacted , as a forewarning, when the crimes came to light. Some school officials need to be fired, all of the parents of the assailants and observers should be sued, along with any school officials that neglected their primary duty to protect the children in their charge. And, lastly, all of the assailants should be charged as adults.

Badge204
Badge204

I do hope this family takes legal action. Against individuals as well as school board. Do NOT SETTLE OUT OF COURT.! Take your case all the way to a jury. A message must be sent. Not about financial, it is about your child and others in future., The schools need better control in schools. Supervision is key

BatCrapCrazy
BatCrapCrazy

I would hope that the family does what is right for the victim. The school and each individual involved needs to pay the price but not at the price of further trauma to the victims.

DR226
DR226

Maybe race played a roll in delaying reporting this awful act. Trying to prevent racism accusations and baseless lawsuits. Not my son, he's a good boy. He din do nuffin!!! School administrators should lose thier jobs or be held accountable for the delay in reporting and these punks should be tryed as adults.

badboyjim13
badboyjim13

It's MD what do you expect, just look at the idiot prosecutor in Baltimore that still has her job even though she has been proven to be racist and a cop hater, MD has become one of the worst liberal state on the east coast that give more protection and ease of punishment/consequences to the criminals than the victims, not a surprise. I grew up in DC/VA/MD area saw it getting worse and worse as I worked LE in DC/VA in 80s/90s, left area for good in mid-90s before I fell victim to the ghetto lottery and relocated west, retired in 2011 and have been enjoying more family time ever since.

TarnishedCopper
TarnishedCopper

Time for the victims to "lawyer-up" against the school and the individual staff members who attempted to hide this and play Amateur Detective with it as well as neglecting their duties as Mandatory Reporters.

Yell2017
Yell2017

Hope the 4 parents take a civil suit against the principal and coach. Then a separate one against the school district. As a victim advocate that is unacceptable And heads need to roll.

McFarlane
McFarlane

Those fucktard boys need to be held accountable, including those who watched and did nothing. Pieces of shit, all of them. And don't give me this "he had ADHD" bullshit. It is what it is, bullshit. School officials should be terminated. Period.

Louise S
Louise S

FB won't allow sharing this...satanic social media site