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Wisconsin high school students accused of sexual assault

In our last post we discussed the case of a Milwaukee college student accused of sexual assault and how the allegations and possible conviction might damage his future. There's another element to sex crimes attributed to students, though. Some suspects are even younger, and their victims may be at an age where they aren't old enough to officially give consent to any sexual advances.

Two high school football players in Mequon, Wisconsin, are accused of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl inside the school Nov. 3. The students, both 18 years old, have been charged with sexual assault of a child under 16.

According to a criminal complaint, the girl admitted to a school liaison officer that she engaged in sexual activity with both of the boys in an open practice room at the school. She said one of the boys offered her a beverage in a can that she recognized contained alcohol. She also admitted to engaging in sexual activity with a third boy who was just 15.

When the school found out about the incident a week after it happened, all four students claimed to be willing participants, according to the superintendent. They were all punished, and the school held a meeting some weeks later to confirm the details of the incident. The three boys showed, but not the girl and her family. A few days later, the school learned the girl claimed the sex wasn't consensual after all and that the boys forced themselves on her. The superintendent said school officials haven't had the chance to talk directly with the girl about her claims.

From a legal standpoint, whether she consented doesn't matter. In Wisconsin, the age of consent is 18, which means she can't legally give consent. The district attorney's office instead uses the terms cooperative or forced. And those are the terms that will determine further punishment for the students, two of whom could face adult punishment if they're found guilty.

Source: Fox6Now.com, "Homestead High School students charged with sexual assault," Jenna Sachs, Dec. 2, 2011

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