Calhoun County teenager arrested for rape of classmate - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Calhoun County teenager arrested for rape of classmate

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ANNISTON, Ala. -

A Calhoun County teenager is in custody as he faces charges of rape and sodomy.

Investigators said the 17-year-old boy admitted to raping a disabled classmate.

"[He] gave details of what they did," Chief deputy Matthew Wade said.

"They knew this person had a disability, and they knew that would make it easier for them to have sex with them.  That's the reason why this juvenile picked this person."

He said other students heard about what happened, weeks before the victim told anyone, and she suffered additional abuse for it.

"Some things had been going on at school where this survivor had been bullied by some other people that knew of this, and was threatened, and so we took action to make sure she would be protected," Wade said.

Deputies arranged for her to talk with counselors at the Calhoun Cleburne Children's Center.  Rather than have victims make multiple statements to officers and other investigators, the sheriff's office uses licensed counselors to conduct interviews which are recorded and used during portions of the court process.

"This is a traumatic thing and we need to make sure we take care, that we provide for these victims, and treat them with dignity," Wade said.

Many rape cases go unreported--as many as three out of five.  In this case, the 18-year-old victim told her mother several weeks after, and the mother then called the sheriff's office.

The potential punishment for the 17-year-old boy if convicted is imprisonment until he is 21, since he is a juvenile, and he would be required to register as a sex offender.

There is no statute of limitations for reporting rape, and deputies encourage victims who have not come forward to consider contacting law enforcement to report previous attacks.

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