|Print this story||Permalink|
Four senior boys from Christ the King Regional High School in Middle Village were expelled Friday after a female classmate accused them of gang-raping her last fall, an allegation that has yet to lead to any criminal charges, authorities said.
In a letter sent out to parents last week, Principal Michael Lynch announced that the school's board of trustees decided in a meeting last Thursday to dismiss the four students as of Friday, two days after they were suspended "due to [their] behavior."
"We are clearly very disheartened by the behavior of these former students," Lynch wrote. "We will continue to emphasize the importance of respect and the value of Christian ideals to all our students."
Lynch noted at the bottom of the letter that the school would not comment to the media "in order to protect the privacy of our students."
The girl's mother told the Daily News the sexual assault took place last Halloween in the basement bedroom of a Queens Village house, where she said as many as half a dozen boys watched at one point.
She told the paper that her daughter, who left Christ the King to be home schooled, has needed counseling for the emotional stress she has suffered since then.
State Sen. Serphin Maltese (R-Glendale), who has chaired the school's board of trustees for the past 25 years, said the seven-member board voted unanimously for the expulsions.
"I think the expulsion speaks for itself," he said by phone Tuesday. "The expulsion does not have to be founded on an arrest. From time to time we are forced by circumstances and the action of our students to expel students. This certainly merited that, in our opinion."
The allegations surfaced when the girl confided in a teacher that she "had been involved sexually with four seniors from CK against her will" last fall at one of the student's homes, Lynch said.
The teacher passed along the information to Lynch, who summoned the girl's parents to inform them of the accusations before sending them and their daughter to the police, Lynch said. They also reported the incident to the Administration for Child Services.
Queens District Attorney Richard Brown has opened an investigation into the case, sources said, and two students considered witnesses to the assault were interviewed Friday with their attorney, Sean McNicholas.
But Brown has yet to decide whether to file charges against the four students, whose identities have not been released, sources said.
A paralegal for the girl's attorney, Madeline Bryer, said she would not comment until the district attorney decides whether or not to file criminal charges.
McNicholas did not return a phone call requesting comment.
But sources said the DA's decision about prosecuting the case hinges on the alleged victim and her family since she would have to endure the difficult process of testifying about what she says happened that night.
Maltese defended the school's safety record, pointing out that the alleged attack took place at a student's home outside school hours.
"Our school is one of the safest in probably the state of New York," he said. "Physical attacks and attacks of any nature simply do not occur at our school."
Although rumors circulated last week that some of the four students were athletes - one a star on the school's basketball team, which is ranked No. 16 in the nation - they proved unfounded when all players showed up for a Friday night match against the St. Raymond Ravens.
"As you saw, we had a full complement of guys out there tonight," said the school's basketball coach, Bob Oliva, after the CK Royals lost to the Ravens by a score of 77-68. "So it ended all the speculation if one of our guys was involved in something."
Reach reporter Dustin Brown by e-mail at Timesledger@aol.com or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 154.
©2003 Community Newspaper Group
|Print this story||Permalink|
By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:
You agree that you, and not TimesLedger.com or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to TimesLedger.com the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.