Following the alleged sexual assault of a West Memphis special needs student, it was revealed on Tuesday that his three assailants were also special needs students.
Prosecuting attorney Scott Ellington told Fox13 he focused on the victim's injuries and how the victim described the event.
Ellington says based on those two things, no matter who committed the crime, the individuals responsible should pay the price.
West Memphis police reports show the victim was sexually attacked in the bathroom at West Memphis High School in February. 17-year-old Kenneth Bedford, 16-year-old Terrance Jones, and 15-year-old Orlando Hamilton have been charged as adults with rape and first-degree assault.
According to their statements to police, they all tell a different story as to what happened that day. The school cannot comment on what classifies them as special needs.
Ellington says it will be up to the three defendants' attorneys to try to get their case moved to juvenile court.
"We determined that this was a felony offense that certainly whomever committed it, should be held accountable without focusing necessarily on the defendants," he says. "Quite frankly, we didn't have the knowledge of what special needs they have and they can present that evidence to the court and let the court decide whether it's enough to warrant a reduction to juvenile court."
Ellington says his office, unfortunately, deals with several sexual attacks each year but this one is unique because it happened in the bathroom at a public school.
WHBQ-TV | Fox 13
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