Two teens charged in alleged sex assault of Thornton High School student

2013-09-19T22:05:00Z 2013-09-19T22:25:15Z Two teens charged in alleged sex assault of Thornton High School studentGregory Tejeda Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
September 19, 2013 10:05 pm  • 

HARVEY | Two teenage boys are in police custody and likely to face charges in connection with an incident last week involving the sexual assault of a Thornton High School student who was attending last week’s Wildcats football game against Thornwood High School.

Sandra Alvarado, a spokeswoman for the Harvey Police Department, said Thursday that two males, ages 15 and 16, were taken into custody for the Sept. 13 incident near 150th Street and Turlington Avenue.

Alvarado said the younger boy robbed the student, who also is 15, and the older boy committed an act of criminal sexual assault upon him.

Charges against the two were filed Thursday, and Alvarado said the 16-year-old, who was charged with two counts of criminal sexual assault, will appear at the Sixth District Cook County courthouse in Markham Friday for a bond hearing. Although both he and the 15-year-old, who faces a robbery charge, were charged as adults, Alvarado refused to identify either because they are younger than 18.

“Because of their age, there isn’t a lot we can say about this case,” Alvarado said.

The incident occurred Friday night when the student went to the high school’s football game, although District 205 School Board President Kenneth Williams said the attack took place off campus. He also noted it was school security who found the student wandering around the neighborhood in a daze and notified Harvey police.

The student’s mother told The Times she received a call from police that night informing her that her son was at Ingalls Memorial Hospital. Upon arriving there, she said, she learned that her son had suffered injuries from a sexual assault.

The mother said four males attacked her son, although Alvarado said police regarded only the two in custody as suspects.

“He was sodomized,” the mother said to The Times, adding she wanted to talk about the incident as a warning to other parents of Thornton High School students. “My son wants people to know that something happened so they can be more careful,” she said. “I should never have let him go to that game alone.”

She also said her son deliberately returned to school Monday afternoon, and had not missed any classes since then.

The mother said Thornton High School Principal Tony Ratliff was at the hospital with her Friday night while her son received treatment. She also said the coach of the sports team her son played for also had expressed daily concern for her son’s physical and mental well-being.

But she said she thought other school district officials, along with Harvey police, had shown a disregard for the incident.

Alvarado would not comment on the mother’s claim about Harvey police, while District 205 officials mostly claimed they did not learn of the incident until Wednesday.

“We were informed that something had happened, but we weren’t given details,” Williams said, adding, “We’re sympathetic to the student and his mother, but I actually think we handled this incident the way we should have.”

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