Monday, May 31, 2010

Boy, 14, accused of sexual touching on bus

MONROE — A 14-year-old boy is in the Butler County Juvenile Detention Center after after he was accused of inappropriately touching two girls on a Monroe Local Schools bus.

The eighth-grader was arrested Friday, May 21, after the mother of a 16-year-old girl reported her daughter was sexually assaulted on the bus two weeks ago on the way home from school as it traveled along New Garver Road.

The boy is charged with gross sexual imposition, a fourth-degree felony, and sexual imposition, a third-degree misdemeanor, said Monroe police Lt. Brian Curlis.

The charges stem from two separate incidents involving two 16-year-old girls, one of whom is a special-needs student in the district, he said.

The mother of one girl called police about 8:30 p.m. Thursday to report the incident immediately after learning about it from her daughter, police said.

“We basically gathered enough information to determine that the juvenile on that bus did in fact commit a crime,” Monroe Detective Doug Leist said.

Friday, Leist said police learned of a second incident on the bus involving the same boy. The second girl did not initially report the incident because she thought it was inappropriate yet “typical adolescent male behavior,” Leist said. Both girls feared they would get into trouble, he said.

Police would not confirm details of the incidents, but Superintendent Elizabeth Lolli said she believed it may have involved placing the victims’ hand “on an inappropriate part of the body.”

Leist said the boy apparently had begun acting out sexually. “There is a chain of behavior that this gentleman portrayed with multiple girls on the bus over the past month or so. So this was not one secluded incident,” he said, declining to elaborate.

An on-bus camera likely recorded the incidents, but the footage was not retained because the driver and district were unaware of the incidents, though Leist said the girls shared with their friends what had happened.

Butler County Children Services also is involved in this case.

This is the second such incident on a Monroe school bus this year. In January, a primary school student saw sexual activity between two students, which the child’s parent reported to the district.

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