Prosecutor close to decision on Carmel bus assault charges


Sandra Chapman/13 Investigates

Hendricks County - The investigation into assault charges on a Carmel High School bus is expanding. In an exclusive interview with 13 Investigates, the Hendricks County prosecutor is considering charges involving allegations in her county.

On the case for just over two weeks, Hendricks County Prosecutor Patricia Baldwin says she's close.

"I don't see any reason why this needs to go on and on. It really ought to be able to be wrapped up relatively quickly," said Baldwin.

She is close to deciding if three Carmel High School basketball players will face charges in connection with an alleged rolling bus assault on January 22nd.

It was on this route, after leaving an Arby's Restaurant in Cloverdale, that the seniors are being investigated for accusations of grabbing two freshmen and committing alleged sex crimes against them. Baldwin says based on the time and speed of travel, the assault occurred along I-70 in Hendricks County.

"There's about ten different things that you could look at that come under sexual crimes," said Baldwin.

Potential charges could include criminal deviant conduct, sexual battery and child molest. Baldwin says the case falls under her jurisdiction because the alleged perpetrators are all 18 years or older, confirming for the first time their status as adults.

The City of Carmel has repeatedly refused to divulge the ages of the basketball players.

"Anytime you have persons that are adults, not juvenile cases, you have to look at where an alleged incident happened. They're over the age of 18 in which you would be considered an adult," she said.

Baldwin wouldn't say whether the hospital report from one freshman provided any evidence for the case. But she says getting evidence from that type of hospital report is pretty rare, but that doesn't mean nothing happened.

"Allegations of teammates or older students doing something with a younger student, you have to look at very carefully," said Baldwin.

The Hendricks County case deals solely with the bus incident. The alleged locker room assaults are still in the hands of the Hamilton County Prosecutor .

Baldwin says just a couple of interviews are pending. She wants to review bus tapes if they exists, and meet with the victims, with hopes of making a determination in April.

Carmel High School bus assault