High-school wrestlers from Oklahoma are facing sexual assault charges after allegedly raping teammates on the bus.
Four suspects from Norman North High School are charged with raping a 16-year-old in the back of vehicle Jan. 9 and then doing the same to a 12-year-old multiple times. All four individuals may be tried as adults.
“What’s laid out in these court documents is shocking,” KOKH Fox 25 reporter Bill Schammert said Monday. Court documents allege the suspects held down the 16-year-old victim and used fingers to “graphically rape” him through his clothing. The 12-year-old was allegedly assaulted by a finger covered with a condom.
Tanner Shane Shipman, 18, Sage Griffen Gandenberger, 17, and Chase Denton Smith, 16, were charged with three counts of rape by instrumentation against two male victims, KWTV 9 reported Monday.
Hunter Oren Matthews, 17, was charged with one count of rape by instrumentation of the 12-year-old.
Audio and video surveillance from the bus that included night-vision technology was used to identify the suspects.
“Imagine these are minors, juveniles that experienced this,” Norman Police spokeswoman Sarah Jensen said. “They go to school and these are their peers, so we were especially careful in this case to protect the victims.”
Norman Public Schools released the following statement on Monday:
“Student safety is a top priority and we followed procedures we have in place that allow us to effectively investigate and take swift action in these situations. We appreciate the individuals who came forward to provide information, the Norman Police Department’s thorough investigation and the quick action by the District Attorney on this incident,” the statement read.
“We are well-prepared to handle situations like this and have programs in place to support students who experience trauma. And, while we believe the district’s policies regarding student supervision are strong, we continuously evaluate our procedures to ensure they are followed.”
One adjunct coach was fired after the incident and a second coach resigned.
The suspects were schedule to be arraigned in Garvin County today.