Two 14-year-old boys pleaded not guilty Tuesday after being accused of raping a fellow student at a Hot Springs, Arkansas, high school.
The two entered the not-guilty pleas in a preliminary hearing Tuesday afternoon. Both boys are being held at the Garland County Juvenile Detention Center and have their next hearing on March 11, said Kirk Zaner with the Hot Springs Police Department.
The accuser, 16, told authorities that the boys approached her after school last Wednesday in the Lakeside High School field house and forced her into the girl’s locker room, where they assaulted her, according to a news release from the Hot Springs Police Department.
The girl was on her way to athletic practice at the time of the alleged assault, Lakeside School District Superintendent Shawn Cook told KATV.
The boys were taken into custody Friday, the day after the girl reported the alleged incident, the police statement said. They stand charged with rape. It’s unclear if they’ll be charged as adults. The Hot Springs Police Department said it would not be releasing further information in the case.
The School District also said it would not release any information. It did confirm the incident in a short statement, saying the administration notified police immediately upon hearing the girl’s accusations.
“It really just makes you mad,” local resident Bobby Ward told KATV. “That happened there?”
The boys grabbed her arms and buttocks before forcing her into the locker room and turning the lights off, the 16-year-old alleged, according to a probable cause affidavit.
One of the boys “stood behind her, took her backpack off, and held her so she couldn’t move. The victim stated that she was asking them to let her go, but they refused,” the affidavit says.
One boy grabbed her breasts and kissed her neck, and then one of the boys — it’s not clear if it’s the same teen because the names are redacted in the affidavit — put his hands down her pants and sexually assaulted her with his fingers, according to the affidavit.
“She continued to attempt to get away, but could not,” it says. “The victim stated that, after approximately 2 minutes, she was able to break free and run outside.”
Bobby Dingler’s girlfriend has a daughter at Lakeside High, and he’s “pretty shaken about the whole deal, about the safety and about what happened. … Probably the comforting deal is that (my girlfriend) knows (the accused teens are) not going to be at school anymore,” he told the station.
The school houses grades eight through 12 and had an enrollment of almost 1,200 students during the 2010-11 school year, according to the school’s Facebook page. Hot Springs is about an hour’s drive southwest of Little Rock.