Teen accused of school rape appears in court

December 17, 2009 5:44:23 PM PST
Thursday afternoon, the young suspect in a rape at a middle school made his first court appearance.

A slight boy with wavy dark hair, the 14-year-old accused of raping a fellow student at last Thursday El Cerrito's Portola Middle School did not enter a plea during his arraignment in a Martinez courtroom.

"Abraham R.," as he referred to in court, sat quietly with his attorney. The charges against him were not read in open court, but prosecutor Dan Cabral says they include a serious sexual assault.

"The judge has ordered him to remain detained in juvenile hall and the matter's been put over for further conference in the future," Cabral said.

The court appearance comes one week after Abraham R. was found with another student, a 12-year-old girl, in this stairwell during school hours. El Cerrito police arrested him for rape and false imprisonment.

West Contra Costa school district officials are distancing themselves from comments made earlier this week by two paid school employees that the sex was consensual.

"We regret what they commented on, their comments certainly do not reflect the feelings of the district," district spokesperson Nia Rashidchi said.

"There are lots and lots of cases where school districts have been held liable in circumstances like this for either negligent supervision or a failure to supervise and I think we can pretty much see that this school district has got a problem," ABC7 legal analyst Dean Johnson said.

The sexual assault at Portola Middle School comes two months after a gang rape at Richmond High School and days before a series of fights at two other West Contra Costa high schools.

"Certainly the community is wondering what's going on, but we want to make certain that people understand that it does not appear there is any connection between these different incidences, other than they occurred on school grounds," Rashidchi said.

The defendant has been ordered not to have any contact with the 12-year-old victim and will be back in court Dec. 30.


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