Clyde, NY (WHAM) — Authorities spoke out Friday for the first time since four teenagers were charged in connection with an alleged assault at Clyde-Savannah High School.
Three of the four defendants – ages 17, 16 and 15 – are charged with aggravated sexual abuse, hazing and forcible touching for the Oct. 31 incident.
“I know the community is hurting,” said Assistant Wayne County Prosecutor Christine Callanan. “I know they’re in shock. I know the parents have a lot of questions.”
MORE: ‘What’s being done isn’t enough’: Clyde-Savannah parent calls for more action following incident involving school football team
Police said the victim was in a locker room when she was subjected to the violence.
The fourth suspect, a 16-year-old boy, is charged with illegal surveillance after the victim’s parents learned that a recording of the incident was circulating on social media, according to police.
“It’s important because it’s not just a football team, it’s a school, it’s a whole community,” Callanan said. “As information is received and leads are developed, I know law enforcement continues to follow up – and we consider this to be an active and ongoing investigation .”
It is now up to the justice system to determine whether defendants will be tried as adults or as juvenile offenders.
“If they are tried as juvenile offenders, that defines what the sentencing range could be compared to if they don’t have such a trial,” Callanan said. “There is a long way to go before this matter.”
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Callanan said there is a “substantial range” in potential sentences.
“If they go to trial, juvenile offender versus juvenile offender, it changes whether the records will be public knowledge or sealed,” Callanan said. “There are a lot of implications that come from these types of accusations now, and the changes that have been made in Raise the Age, so unfortunately it’s so varied at this point, it could really be anything Right now.”
Callanan said she could not answer whether the suspects were college football players or whether an adult was present in the locker room during the alleged assault. Shortly after the assault investigation began, the school district said an incident involving several football players abruptly ended the team’s undefeated season.
The defendants are due back in court Wednesday and Thursday.