Alleged rape occurred beyond unfenced portion of school grounds

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January 4, 2007

AUGUSTA, Ga.---Officers say a 15-year-old Glenn Hills High School student was raped by another student in broad daylight yesterday afternoon.

The alleged rape took place sometime during the lunch hour at school. The question of how the students were able to get away from the eyes of administrators is still being investigated.

Just a few feet away from the gym at Glenn Hills High School is a portion of an unfenced area leading into the nearby woods that gives anyone easy access to hide.

It's where a 15-year-old female freshman alleges 16-year-old fellow student Delonte Kitchings raped her.

"He made threatening comments during lunch hour," Lt. Scott Peebles told News 12.

When we asked the school's principal why that portion of the school isn't fenced off, he told us it's something he's been asking himself since last year.

The sheriff's report says Kitchings approached the girl in the gym and repeatedly asked her to go to the nearby woods.

After she refused several times, he finally told her he had a gun and bullets were going to start flying. That's when the victim finally gave in.

The report goes on to say the victim tried to run away, but he pushed her to the ground and tried to choke her.

"She had injuries consistent with the story she gave us," Lt. Peebles said.

Even though Kitchings is a minor, he may be charged as an adult--because under Georgia law, rape is considered one of the seven deadly sins.

"It allows us to charge anyone over the age of 13 as an adult," Lt. Peebles said. "It'll be up to the DA's office to prosecute him as an adult or send it back to juvenile court."

If he's prosecuted as an adult, he could face up life in prison, but if the case is sent back to juvenile court, authorities say the maximum sentence would be five years.

Lt. Peebles said that how Kitchings is charged could depend on several factors, including psychological testing to see what his level of maturity is.

For now, Kitchings is being held at the Youth Detention Center because he's still a minor.

This school has seen trouble before. Violence at Glenn Hills was one reason the Richmond County Sheriff's Office formed a special task force to cut down on trouble in Augusta's high schools back in 2004.

Fights at Glenn Hills and Butler high schools prompted the extra security.

One of the big differences was that kids who were caught acting up were arrested and taken to the Law Enforcement Center instead of the normal tribunal.