MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – Five Manatee County students are accused of raping a 13-year-old girl.
Four of the boys were arrested for sexual battery and the fifth arrest is pending, according to the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office.
One of the suspects has been identified as 18-year-old Timothy Hinds. Since the others are all minors, we will not disclose their names.
The victim told authorities she snuck out of her home on Aug. 18, 2017 to watch Netflix with one of the accused. The boy walked her to a bedroom, shut the door and they watched television.
Twenty to 30 minutes later, four other boys showed up to his home and the boy left the bedroom. The victim said she overheard the boys discussing her age and arguing about her being a virgin.
When the boy returned to his bedroom, he asked the victim to undress, but she refused. He removed her clothing, then he got on top of her and raped her, she alleged.
After that boy left the room, another boy entered the room and raped her. Then one by one, the other three others entered the room alone, raped her and left.
One of the boys initially denied the victim’s allegations, but later admitted to having sex with the girl, but said it was consensual. He also confirmed the four others had sex with her that night.
News Channel 8 has learned the teenage boys all attended Braden River High School.
BRHS Parent Myra Yeager was shocked by the news and surprised that parents were never notified.
“At least make an announcement of what’s going on so that you know. Maybe it didn’t happen here but if somebody is going to school here I think we should know,” said Yeager.
The Manatee County School District released a statement:
“The alleged incident did not occur at a school, or at a school function. Due to student privacy concerns, no further information can be provided. This remains a Law Enforcement matter and any further information needs to be addressed by Law Enforcement.”
Elizabeth Fisher works with sexual abuse victims through the non-profit Selah Freedom. She says parents need to step up and teach their children healthy views about sex.
“We’re raising boys to not understand that this is not acceptable. We’re raising boys to think that girls are there for our pleasure, they’re there to use,” she said.
She applauds the girl’s bravery.
“Girls internalize so much shame and they don’t know that it’s not them. The shame doesn’t belong to them. We need to teach girls that shame belongs to him,” explained Fisher.
The teenage boys face felony charges. They were taken to the Juvenile Booking Facility.
One arrest is still pending.
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