Editor’s Note: The press conference is available in full at the bottom of this article.
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Four teens have been indicted for assaulting a 14-year-old boy in the Clyde-Savannah High School locker room, according to the Village of Clyde Police Department.
On October 31, Clyde Police began their investigation into the assault of a 14-year-old boy that happened in the men’s locker room of Clyde-Savannah High School when the victim’s parent became aware of a recording of the incident that was circulating around social media.
After this investigation, four teens were identified as suspects and indicted by a Wayne County Grand Jury on November 9.
A 17-year-old boy, a 16-year-old boy, and a 15-year-old boy were charged with first-degree felony aggravated sexual abuse, first-degree hazing, and forcible touching. A 16-year-old boy was charged with second-degree unlawful surveillance.
Both the Wayne County DA’s Office and the Clyde Police Department acknowledge that, although this is a tight-knit community, they will not comment any further due to the ongoing investigation.
“It’s substantial because not only is it a football team, it’s a school, it’s an entire community,” said First Assistant DA Christine Callahan. “So as information is received and leads are developed, I know that law enforcement continues to follow up. We consider it an active investigation.”
All four suspects were arrested, processed, and brought to Wayne County Youth Court for arraignment, and an order of protection was issued to the victim. The four suspects were released to their parents, and are ordered back in court on November 15 and 16.
Clyde-Savannah School District statement on arrests
The District has been informed by law enforcement that a number of students have been arrested as a result of their investigation. It is crucial to emphasize that the District is unable to discuss specific details about student matters or ongoing legal proceedings. Student privacy and confidentiality are of utmost importance to us, and we must adhere to legal and ethical guidelines that govern the disclosure of information. All questions should be directed to law enforcement.
The assault allegedly happened on October 31. School officials and police did not make public mention until three days later, in order to explain why the varsity football team had to drop out of a semifinal game.
“This turn of events marks an untimely end to what has been a historic season for our team,” the district said in a statement on November 2.
Superintendent Mike Hayden released a statement one day later, saying he met with staff members and addressed students to offer counseling support. The district also sent information about trauma resources for parents and students, but did not specify why trauma resources might be necessary.
The Clyde-Savannah Central School District postponed a board of education meeting Wednesday amid growing furor and uncertainty surrounding the incident. Police had yet to release any information about their investigation at the time, and said, “holding a school board meeting may encourage misinformation and create rumors.”
“I didn’t think my school was like that,” said Clyde-Savannah student Desiree Gazino, who told News 8 she knows the four accused in the case. “I hope they get punished for their actions and I hope they never do it again.”
What type of punishment these teenagers might receive, if convicted, will be partly determined by how they’re labeled in youth court: youthful offender, or juvenile offender. Because of the new Raise the Age law in New York, the ADA says is the teenagers can not be tried as adults.
Full Press Conference
The full press conference from the Clyde Police Department and the Wayne County DA’s Office is available above.