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Alleged sex abusers get non-felony charges

June 15, 2010 at 4:31 PM   |   Comments

CARMEL, Ind., June 15 (UPI) -- The lawyer for an Indiana boy who allegedly was sexually assaulted said influence was exerted in charging the suspects with misdemeanors rather than felonies.

The 14-year-old alleges he was attacked by four Carmel High School seniors in Carmel in incidents in the locker room and on a bus between Nov. 1 and Jan. 22, the Indianapolis Star reported Tuesday.

Robert Kitzinger, 19, Oscar Falodun, and Brandon Hoge, both 18; were charged by a grand jury with misdemeanor counts of battery and criminal recklessness. A fourth, Scott Laskowski, 19, faces three counts of misdemeanor criminal recklessness.

Robert Turner, the boy's lawyer, said the jury, which charged the students with misdemeanors for allegedly anally penetrating the boy, must have come under unfair influence, and said his client's lower social status probably was key.

Turner said he will subpoena the grand jury evidence in light of the $2.25 million lawsuit the boy's family said it would file against the school district, and most likely would request an investigation from the U.S. Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division.

Turner questioned why the jury's indictment did not reflect the alleged sexual nature of the attack, saying a police investigation suggested more serious charges, including criminal deviate conduct and sexual battery, during their investigation.

"One of (the boy's) friends went to his mother because of the sexual nature of the attacks. The mother went to the school because of the sexual nature of the attacks. The school went to the police who investigated them because of the sexual nature of the attacks," Turner said.

"He's a juvenile; he's not going to volunteer (possibly embarrassing) information," Turner said, adding that the boy had no lawyer present during the grand jury proceedings.

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