UPDATE: Charges filed in reported rape at Sevier Co. High

Sept. 8, 2016: The three juvenile males are charged with aggravated rape for assaulting another student at the school.

SEVIERVILLE - UPDATE: Three juvenile males are charged with aggravated rape in relation to an assault reported at Sevier County High School this week.

Sevierville Police detectives arrested the three males on Friday, according to a press release from the city of Sevierville. Each is charged with one count of aggravated rape. 

The juveniles were taken to the Sevier County Juvenile Detention Facility.

Officials are investigating a claim that those three boys raped a fellow male student while at school on Tuesday.

Donna Koester, founder and executive director of Safe Harbor Child Advocacy Center of the Smokies, said any abuse against any child or teenager must be reported.

"Any time you suspect abuse has occurred, you need to report it to the officials," Koester told WBIR 10News Friday morning.

She did not comment on any specific cases - including this one at SCHS.

"It's not just for schools. It's for banks, it's for the general community, it's for churches, it's for everywhere there's children," Koester said. "When there's an allegation of any sort of abuse...it's law to (immediately) call and report it."

According to state law, "everyone in Tennessee is a mandated reporter under state law. Any person with reasonable cause to believe a child is being abused or neglected must, under the law, immediately report to the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services or to local law enforcement. The reporter can remain anonymous."

The reported incident at Sevier County High School comes just a week after three male basketball players at Ooltewah High School near Chattanooga were found guilty in an attack on a teammate.

RELATED: Three defendants found guilty in Ooltewah rape case

That happened in December of last year in Gatlinburg, while the team was in town for a tournament.

Gatlinburg police say the three boys assaulted a freshman teammate with a pool cue.

"The psychological harm that's done to that child or adolescent, regardless of the act, is almost immeasurable," Koester said.

One teen was found guilty of aggravated rape while the other two were found guilty of aggravated assault.

Koester said it's up to officials to do the investigating in a reported case of abuse. Adults reporting the abuse should do just that - and leave any questioning up to the experts.

"Whether it's hazing or it's done for sexual gratification or for whatever: any time a child is violated or an adolescent is violated for whatever reason they give, it is a violation of the law and of that child," she said.

PREVIOUS STORY: The Sevierville Police Department is investigating the reported rape of a male student at Sevier County High School.

According to investigators, the alleged rape happened on Tuesday, Sept. 6 but was not reported to school officials until Thursday. On the same day they received that information, school officials notified the police department and the Department of Children's Services of the reported attack.

Three male students are considered suspects in the rape, but no charges have been filed.

According to a release from the SPD, the victim did not have serious physical injuries.

(© 2016 WBIR)


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