NORMAN, Okla. (AP) — Police are investigating what officials at an Oklahoma high school are calling an "extremely disturbing" victimization of a student that led to the suspensions of students and coaches from a junior varsity wrestling team, a Norman Police Department spokesman said Friday.
School officials have said an incident involving students from Norman North High School occurred as students were returning from a tournament on a bus. Police spokeswoman Sarah Jensen said a juvenile victim told police Monday that the incident occurred on Jan. 9.
Jensen declined to discuss the nature of the incident or what charges may be filed. She said detectives are still conducting interviews.
'We should know when we file charges exactly what we're looking at," Jensen said.
School officials said they were notified of the incident on Tuesday and immediately suspended two students and an adjunct coach responsible for supervising students. More students and a second coach were suspended later. District officials have not said how many students have been suspended.
The school district of more than 15,000 students about 20 miles south of Oklahoma City is the same one where a former student was accused of raping a classmate in September 2014 in a case that sparked a protest at Norman High School over how administrators handled the bullying of alleged victims.
Tristen Kole Killman-Hardin, 19, of Norman, entered no-contest pleas in Cleveland County District Court to two counts of first-degree rape. He was sentenced to two years in prison and must register as a sex offender.
He was accused of assaulting a 16-year-old girl who police say was intoxicated and incapable of giving consent. Killman-Hardin was kicked out of the school district after video of the alleged assault was brought to administrators' attention.
In a statement Friday, Norman Public Schools Superintendent Joseph Siano said "student safety is a top priority" but declined to discuss details about the latest incident "out of respect for victims and to honor our obligation to protect student privacy."
"However, we are prepared to deal with issues such as this," Siano said. "We continue to investigate and work with the Norman Police Department, our student advocacy coordinators are working closely with students and families affected by the incident."