By Linda Cicoira — The news of the rape and abduction of a Northampton High School girl on Valentine’s Day circulated across Facebook Tuesday night bringing comments of compassion, denial, contempt, and shock.
A male Northampton High School student, who is underage and therefore was not identified by police, was charged with the crimes earlier in the day. A message to parents was also sent home with students on Tuesday regarding the incident.
Sheriff David Doughty reported the crimes in a prepared announcement. He said the incident occurred at the school and that the suspect is being held at the Norfolk Detention Center.
There was no word on the condition of the girl. She was not identified either. The Eastern Shore Post does not disclose the names of victims of sexual assault without their permission. The paper also does not disclose the names of juveniles unless they are considered adults by the court.
Doughty’s office is handling the investigation and the county school administration is assisting in the probe. He urged anyone with information about the crimes to contact the sheriff’s office at 678-0458 or use Tip411 by texting 847-411 and begin the tip message with NHCS.
“We sent a letter home both Friday and yesterday,” Superintendent Eddie Lawrence said in answer to an email query. “Our letter basically covers the same points as the sheriff’s press release. The incident is both a student matter involving two juveniles and an ongoing criminal investigation therefore, I cannot add any further details. We are cooperating with the sheriff’s department with the investigation.”
The letter parents received Tuesday stated, “Following dismissal on Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019, the Northampton High School administration was made aware of a potential assault which had occurred on the school campus. The Northampton County Sheriff’s Department initiated an investigation into the incident. The school’s administration fully cooperated with the investigation. On Friday, the student accused of the assault was not allowed to attend school. Today, Tuesday Feb.19, the sheriff’s office has filed charges against the student for sexual assault and abduction. Since this is both a student matter and an ongoing criminal investigation, any further questions should be addressed to the Northampton County’s Sheriff’s Department.”