UPDATE: Alleged Columbia Co. middle school 'rape gang' facing charges

By: Sheli Muniz Email
By: Sheli Muniz Email

News 12 at 11 o'clock / Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2012

EVANS, Ga. -- A group of five boys who apparently call themselves the "Charlie Rape Gang" are facing simple battery charges.

Two of the students have been expelled, but all five were able to return home with their parents.

On Tuesday night, worried parents from Lakeside Middle School in Columbia County took their concerns to the school board.

News 12 obtained five incident reports filed with the Columbia County Sheriff's Office. Parents say these alleged gang members inappropriately touched their kids at school.

Jennifer Rose's daughter goes to Lakeside Middle School. She spoke at Tuesday's meeting.

"These were organized, planned acts," she said.

Another parent, Cara Doran, said her son had been sticking up for others.

"I had to go pick up my son, who was crying in school," Doran said.

Some upset parents are asking for something to be done.

Jennifer's husband, Andy Rose said, "every day that goes by, every minute that goes by, another incident could happen."

Parents are talking about a string of what they consider to be attacks. Middle school students at Lakeside are claiming the group grabbed them and then simulated sexual acts on them.

One mother, who wanted to remain unidentified, says her son was attacked by the so-called "Charlie Rape Gang."

"The boy came up to him in the hallway, put him -- in his words -- in a bear hug and did to him what doggies do for a lack of a polite word ... hump him."

Incident reports spell out a troubling trend. The principal even sending home a letter explaining to parents of what was going on. That letter sent to parents on Feb. 21.

"I think we all deserve answers for the safety of our children," said the mother of the alleged victim.

The boys were suspended for two days, but some are saying that is not enough.

News 12 took those questions to Columbia County School Superintendent Charles Nagle, including whether a two-day suspension was enough of a punishment.

"Well two days out of school, you need to do everything you can to find every way to keep students in school and on track," Nagle replied.

So, the question here is: "Did the school system act appropriately?"

"Well, that's a matter of opinion. The law doesn't allow us to take them out back and paddle them," Nagle said.

Mr. Nagle said they handled the circumstances appropriately with what they could prove. They are asking for more involvement from parents and to continue reporting their child's concerns. He says this type of behavior "will not be tolerated."

Meanwhile, some parents are sticking to their stories.

"I don't see how a crime is considered a prank," said the mother of an alleged victim.

News 12 has learned those boys are suspended.

Investigators say the key thing here is where the victim was touched. If the victim is touched on their intimate parts, at that point, sexual battery would be considered.

They say there was no evidence to suggest this.

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