Camden Hills student at center of lawsuit arrested for sexual assault

By Stephen Betts | Sep 13, 2019
Source: File photo

Camden — A Camden Hills Regional High School student -- whose mother went to court to overturn his eight-day suspension for a sexual assault that allegedly occurred at the school -- has been arrested because of that incident.

District Attorney Natasha Irving confirmed Thursday, Sept. 12, that the student was arrested as a formality to impose conditions of release that ensure the safety of the victim and community.

"Our paramount concerns in this matter are victim safety, justice for the victim and rehabilitation and treatment for the accused student. Everyone in this district should know that we take allegations of sexual assault extremely seriously, and the evidence obtained through the now-complete investigation of this alleged sexual assault has led me to the conclusion that prosecution must move forward," Irving said.

A formal criminal complaint -- known as a juvenile petition -- has not yet been filed in court. The name of a juvenile accused of a felony offense is not public until the juvenile petition has been filed.

The case became public when the teen's mother filed a lawsuit June 18 in the Knox County court seeking to overturn the eight-day suspension that been imposed in May following the May 20 alleged assault. The mother argues that her son's constitutional rights were violated by the school's actions.

The superintendent said the district responded quickly and appropriately and referred the matter to the police department in addition to issuing the suspension. The District Attorney's Office initially decided not to prosecute the case.

But the decision to prosecute was made after a follow-up investigation.

Documents filed in court by the school point out that the female student who reported the assault was found in the school hallway sobbing and inconsolable by a teacher. The young woman reported that she told the male student multiple times to stop, but that he continued the assault.

The male student told school officials that the sexual conduct was consensual.

The high school principal concluded that the male student's conduct toward the young woman was a violation of school rules and policies, leading to the eight-day suspension.

The mother seeks reimbursement from the district for legal fees and court costs, as well as overturning the suspension.

The civil lawsuit remains pending.

The family of the young woman who reported the sexual assault has also hired an attorney, but has not filed any action in court.

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