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Four students expelled from Christ the King High School in January were charged last week with sexual misconduct for allegedly having sex with a 15-year-old classmate who was legally too young to give consent, authorities said.
The four were arraigned shortly past midnight last Thursday in Queens Criminal Court on misdemeanor charges of sexual misconduct and endangering the welfare of a child, and they were released without bail, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said.
They face up to six months in prison if convicted, Brown said.
The DA's office did not release the names of the boys - three of whom are 18 years old and a fourth 17 - because they are being charged as youthful offenders, a spokeswoman said. They turned themselves in Feb. 19 to detectives at the Queens Special Victims Squad.
"The defendants are alleged to have acted as a group and to have taken advantage of a vulnerable and insecure young girl who found herself in a situation that she was unable to control," Brown said in a release.
But Steven Gildin, an attorney for one of the four boys, called the charges "ludicrous" and "completely fabricated."
"Like it or not, kids have sex. How can there be such selective prosecution by the authorities? This is beyond arbitrary," Gildin said in a statement. "If we are going to have a fair system, then the police better be ready to round up tons of kids each day."
The board of trustees for Christ the King in Middle Village voted late last month to expel the four boys after the allegations surfaced, a decision Principal Michael Lynch announced to parents in a letter dated Jan. 31.
"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."
Brown said the four boys each allegedly had sex with the girl, who was then 15, at the Queens Village home of one of the male students on Oct. 31, 2002. By statute the girl was incapable of consenting to have sex because she was younger than 17, Brown said.
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.
Reach reporter Dustin Brown by e-mail at Timesledger@aol.com or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 154.
©2003 Community Newspaper Group
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