• Troopers continue to look into alleged drunken assault on teen at local party
By Naomi Klouda
Community members are reporting hearing of, or seeing, a brutal sexual assault of a high school boy at a party that was filmed and posted on YouTube. Photos were also reportedly posted on Facebook, until those were removed. The incident allegedly took place at a Homer home and involved dozens of students.
In response to requests from the media for information, Trooper Spokesperson Megan Peters said she could only confirm an investigation is being conducted in Homer, and could not release an exact date or home of the incident.
“Troopers are investigating it based on information given after-the-fact. There was a report of harm by the OCS (Office of Children’s Services,)” Peters said.
The Homer High School also heard reports of the incident, and likewise can’t release confidential information. But Principal Allan Gee alluded to it in a letter to parents posted on the school website. (Reprinted on Page 4.) A public meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday to share information with parents, in terms of the school’s response to the allegations.
“Our counselors are meeting with counselors in the community. On Thursday, we’ll share as much as we can in terms of the school administration’s response and how we’re proceeding with our students,” Gee said Monday. “We’ve had confidential meetings with students and can’t share specifically beyond that the athletes were suspended for attendance at a party where alcohol was consumed.”
On Sept. 10, several Homer High athletes voluntarily reported their attendance at a party where minors were consuming alcohol.
“The parents may have encouraged them to self-report. But, I do not know,” Gee said.
Monday the school was also dealing with the death of a former Homer High School junior.
School administrators are in a tough spot when it comes to incidents taking place off school grounds and not during school hours. Rules are spelled out by the Alaska School Activity Association and in the Kenai Peninsula School Activity Association polices. If students break the “proximity rule” where if a student athlete is attending a party and willfully remains where alcohol is consumed by minors, then they are subject to suspension from sports and other activities.
Since the alleged rape-assault was an off-campus incident, “our only focus is on student athletes,” Gee said.
“We’re constrained by district policy to addressing student athletes. The other information gathered during the investigation was turned over to the Alaska State Troopers.”
On the same day the athletes “self-reported” their violation, the troopers came to the school to interview students in a case they described as “alleged severe misconduct.”
“That’s the extent I was given. The rest of it was part of their investigation,” Gee said.
During the documentary film festival, more than 300 students were given a free viewing of the movie “Bully” at the Homer Theatre during the school day.
The idea was to talk about the specific issue of bullying, but also to provide an appropriate venue to talk in a safe environment about bullying the students may have witnessed more directly, Gee said.
In looking ahead, Gee said if felony charges are filed, they will be looking ahead to plan on how best to prepare staff and students. They may also need to isolate the students involved until they are given a chance to go through the legal process.
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