Student arrested following alleged rape at Lawrence Central High School

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LAWRENCE, Ind. – A 16-year-old Lawrence Central High School student stands accused of raping a classmate. Police said he sexually assaulted a 17-year-old girl Tuesday, while at school.

Police said the two just knew each other as schoolmates. The young man apparently pulled the girl into a locker room after school and assaulted her.

You think of school as a safe place. But for a 17-year-old girl Tuesday afternoon, it was the site of a traumatic event.

“It started in a common area at Lawrence Central High School, wound up in one of the school locker rooms,” said Detective Captain Gary Woodruff with the Lawrence Police Department.

Woodruff said the two students were waiting for their rides around 2 p.m. when the 16-year-old boy used physical force to get the girl into a locker room. He did not use a weapon.

“There had been no real prior relationship, just knowledge of each other through being at the same school,” he said.

The detective said their investigation showed the two hadn’t had any serious communication before, no traces of text messages or even a friendship.

“It appears as a chance situation that occurred at just that moment,” said Woodruff.

But Woodruff credits the young woman for having the courage to report the assault quickly. She went to school officials, who called Lawrence Police, right after it happened.

“She absolutely did the right thing and had the confidence to do so, and there’s a great lesson to be learned there,” he said.

FOX59 reached out to the MSD of Lawrence Township on Wednesday evening. The school sent the following statement Thursday morning:

MSD Lawrence Township district officials are deeply concerned by the recent events at Lawrence Central High School.  This is a police matter and the district is cooperating fully with law enforcement officials.  School disciplinary due process is also being followed and appropriate disciplinary measures will be taken, up to and including a recommendation for expulsion.  As always the safety and security of all students is a top priority for the MSD of Lawrence Township. 

There’s no word on when formal charges will be filed. Lawrence Police forwarded the case to the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office.

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