Five Florida high school students charged in alleged gang rape

Reuters News
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Posted: Jan 20, 2015 5:32 PM

By Barbara Liston

ORLANDO, Fla. (Reuters) - Five Florida high school football players have been charged with sexual battery in the alleged gang rape of a 16-year-old girl who recorded parts of the encounter on her iPod, prosecutors said on Tuesday.

Two of the teenagers charged remain jailed without bond after a first court appearance on Tuesday. The three others, who were charged as juveniles, have pleaded not guilty, according to prosecutors.

The five teens, identified by local media as members of the school football team, were arrested in November after the girl told police she was pulled into the woods and raped near Winter Springs High School in a suburb of Orlando. They were released while authorities investigated the incident.

The sexual assaults occurred in two separate incidents, the Winter Springs Police Department said in an arrest affidavit.

On the iPod video, the girl can be heard saying: "No" and telling the boys she wanted to go back to school, according to the affidavit.

Winter Springs Police Chief Kevin Brunelle said the recording and other forensic evidence led to the formal charges.

Two 17-year-old suspects turned themselves in overnight in response to warrants charging them with sexual battery involving multiple perpetrators, according to Seminole County jail records. They are being charged as adults.

The three other suspects, aged 17 and 16, face similar charges in juvenile court, said a statement from State Attorney Phil Archer.

Prosecutors on Tuesday dropped charges against a sixth suspect, an 18-year-man who was initially arrested, said Lynne Hooper, a spokeswoman for Archer.

Some of the teens charged as juveniles could still wind up in adult court, prosecutors said in the news release.

(Editing by Letitia Stein and Peter Cooney)