Detectives with the Sevierville Police Department charged three students on Friday in connection with a reported rape of another student at Sevier County High School earlier this week.
The department said the alleged rape of a male juvenile student by three male classmates occurred Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016 on the school campus, but did not disclose where on campus that assault happened.
School staff first learned of the rape allegation on Thursday and reported the incident to the Department of Children’s Services and the Sevierville Police Department, who immediately began investigating the claim. Police identified suspects early in the investigation and on Friday announced that detectives arrested three juvenile males, charging each with one count of aggravated rape. They were transported to the Sevier County Juvenile Detention Facility. Police withheld their names at this time.
The City of Sevierville faced public backlash on social media after city spokesperson Bob Stahlke said in a release Thursday that, “It does not appear that the victim sustained serious injuries.” Outraged citizens called the statement thoughtless and disturbing.
“We were referring to physical injuries and should have worded it that way in the release,” Stahlke later clarified.
All persons are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.