Four members of a high school volleyball team face felony charges after they allegedly stripped a teammate on a school bus against her will, Texas cops say.
The alleged incident occurred Sept. 21 as the Caldwell High School girls’ volleyball team traveled back from a match, according to court documents obtained by KXXV. Caldwell is about 30 miles west of College Station.
The 14-year-old victim said her teammates, all either 17 or 18 years old, played loud music during the act to cover up any noise she made, a probable cause affidavit states. One of the students was the “lookout,” KXXV reported, as four adult staff members were aboard the bus.
The girl’s shoes and socks were taken off as she was held down in her seat, and then the players began taking off her pants, the affidavit states.
Despite the girl telling her teammates to stop, they continued stripping her by removing her pants and panties to her mid shin, exposing her genitals, according to the court documents.She remained held down after her clothes were removed.
When the school bus reached its destination, a relative of the victim was waiting to take her home. One of students involved in the incident told the relative, “We basically just raped your (relative) on the bus ride home,” court documents show.
One of the students that was charged told a Milam County Sheriff’s deputy that the act was a “tradition,” as it happens each season, according to the affidavit. Another student said they “were looking for a target to rape” on the bus, authorities said.
The four students involved in the incident were handed felony charges of indecency with a child by exposure. If convicted, they face two to 10 years in prison.
Kim Pagach, the director of communications for the Caldwell Independent School District, said in a statement to McClatchy News it is “committed to providing a safe environment for all students.”
“We currently are actively involved in an investigation and cannot comment any furhter at this time,” she added.
The school district’s superintendent told KXXV that they are refining its processes “to ensure all students are safe.”
“The district is actively investigating current and past practices,” the superintendent, Andy Peters, said. “We have a new athletic director and high school principal this year and they are dedicated to ensuring all students are safe and learning.”
At attorney representing the students believes the charges will be dismissed and says it was “a classic case of overcharging,” according to KBTX.
“We believe that this was a prank... We don’t believe that this should be a sexual offense,” defense attorney Craig Greening told the TV station.