A 13-year-old student at Tampa’s Walker Middle School has returned to classes after a harrowing tale that involved a broom and a hockey stick. Four of his classmates stand were being investigated for bullying the boy when officials learned the torment went much deeper. The suspects, ages 14-15, were arrested and charged with sexual battery and false imprisonment for the rape that took place less than two weeks ago on April 30; the bullying took place during a window of March 15 and May 5, though it’s easy to assume it went on longer than that. The boy, who is in seventh grade, identified his eighth grade assailants on Wednesday. Parents were notified via phone message the next day.
Bad news for the suspects? Assistant State Attorney Pam Bondi says they’ll all be charged as adults.
The 13-year-old boy said the bullying had been going on for months.
But he didn’t say anything. Not to a teacher. Not to a coach. Not to his mother.
Not even when two of the bullies held him down while the other two sexually battered him with a broom handle and hockey stick, authorities say. The boys were alone in the locker room getting ready for an interscholastic flag football team practice.
“That’s part of this tragedy,” Hillsborough County school superintendent MaryEllen Elia said Saturday. “For whatever reason, he didn’t tell anyone.”
That changed Wednesday, she said, following an altercation between the victim and his tormenters on the flag football field at Walker Middle School on Tuesday night.
The coach, noticing something unusual, pulled the boy aside.
“The victim said to him, ‘I’m just sick of this,’ ” Elia said.
The coach followed up the next morning, and had the alleged bullies meet with a female physical education teacher. The teacher instructed each of the four students to write down his version of events.
Hours later, deputies from the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office arrested four students: Randall John Moye, 14; Raymond A. Price-Murray, 14; Lee Louis Myers, 14; and Diemante J. Roberts, 15. [St. Petersburg Times]