Last year, on October 22nd, 2015, a mentally challenged high school student was sexually assaulted by two classmates on the institution’s grounds. The victim was lured into a locker room by several classmates who promised him hugs. Once he was alone with his attackers, the students stripped him of his clothes and inserted a hanger into his rectum forcefully, then kicked it even deeper. Ultimately, the victim suffered internal injuries.
The victim was an 18-year-old student, part of a small community of African-American teenagers in the nearly all white Dietrich High School in Idaho. He was adopted as a toddler and known to suffer from mental disabilities.
His attackers were 17-year-old Tanner Ward and 19-year-old John Howard. When the case caught the eye of the authorities it was initially reported that John Howard was facing felony rape charges. The punishment for such an accusation could have involved Mr. Howard spending the rest of his life behind bars. Moreover, the Dietrich High School officials conducted their own inquiry. After interviewing roughly 30 witnesses, the school superintendent together with a team of investigators concluded that the victim was indeed sexually assaulted. In the meantime, information that came to light via the prosecution’s statement reveals that the high school student was also verbally assaulted. As the court documents state, other students called the victim “chicken eater”, “Kool-Aid”, “watermelon”, and other more offensive racial slurs.
However, in spite of all this evidence, the judge did not sentence either of the perpetrators to jail time. Instead, John Howard got 300 years of community service and two years of probation. Furthermore, he could even have his record expunged for good behavior, according to the judge.
His family relocated to Texas after the incident. The judge allowed John Howard to execute his sentence from the new family home. The evidence suggests that John Howard’s accomplice, 17-year-old Tanner Ward was the one who forcefully inserted the clothes hanger into the victim’s rectum. Initially, Tanner was charged as an adult. However, the judge had his case moved to juvenile court.
Image Source: Pixabay
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