Police make arrest in Muncie Central rape case
Muncie - A 16-year-old Muncie Central High School student was arrested for rape Monday night following an investigation that began last week.
The investigation into the Nov. 9th incident has been turned over to the Delaware County prosecutor. The alleged victim told school officials that the boy raped her in a school bathroom.
Muncie Police are also looking into why school officials did not contact police immediately upon learning of the female student's allegation. A police report states that school officials "have interfered with and delayed the investigation that is required by state law."
Police say the school did not contact Child Protective Services until 4 hours and 15 minutes after they were made aware of the crime by the victim, and never contacted the Muncie Police Department. School officials interviewed the suspect before police were made aware of the crime. Police say that extra time allowed the accused male student to leave the school, go home and change clothes, and also let him know that the victim had reported the incident.
"The male student was allowed to go home and change his clothes. We lost any evidence that he had on him at that time," Muncie Police Det. George Hopper said.
Police say the teenage suspect also washed the clothes he had on at the time of the alleged assault. Valuable evidence may have been lost, too, because other students were allowed to use the restroom, trampling through the crime scene.
According to reports, administrators asked the 16-year-old girl to write a report when she went to the principal's office about noon Tuesday and said she had just been raped in a restroom. Police didn't become involved until a worker from a troubled children's center took her to a hospital to be examined.
"I think it's unwarranted. I think it shows a lack of regard," said Det. Hopper.
In an interview with WTHR-TV last week, Muncie Community Schools Superintendent Dr. Eric King said the girl recanted her original story.
"Not only was that statement made but there was a recanting of the statement made. So we were trying to get to the bottom line as to whether the incident actually occurred. So I think that was a part of the delay," King said.
However, Muncie Police say upon questioning, the girl never changed her story during the police investigation. They say when investigators showed up at the suspect's home, he and his mother were surprised, having been told by school officials that the victim had changed her story and he wasn't in any trouble.
"They told him and his mother not to worry, because she had recanted or changed her story several times and that there was nothing for him to worry about," said Det. Hopper.
While King initially said the girl's story was vague, police say there was nothing vague about her report. They say the alleged victim's friend told school officials that the victim reported to her that "she was raped."
Now, police want to know why the school didn't follow the law and notify them.
"I was just overwhelmed," said the victim's mother. "They're supposed to be safe at school."
She can't believe police weren't notified right away and potential evidence was lost.
"I was so upset the school would do something like that," she said. "They should have just locked the school down completely."
Police also say that school officials, including the principal, never showed up to give statements to police, as they had agreed upon last Friday. After the appointments were missed Friday with no explanation, police say they heard from an attorney, who told them school officials would meet with them Monday or Tuesday (this week).
Police say they still haven't heard back from school officials.
"I don't know that I can speak to the delay. We are cooperating," King said Tuesday.