Crime & Courts

Maize student facing sex charges

Police investigators said a 17-year-old Maize South High School student could face criminal charges in a school-related incident and other incidents that span two years.

The student faces the prospect of various charges, all of which are sexual in nature, said Sgt. Amy Osburn of the Exploited and Missing Child Unit, which investigated the case at the request of Maize police. There are "multiple victims," all of them juvenile, she said.

One of the alleged crimes is a rape that occurred in 2008, Osburn said. She did not specify where it took place.

The rest of the alleged offenses occurred between 2008 and now.

"It started when they were 15," and continued to the present, Osburn said.

Maize school district officials declined to discuss the nature of the school-related incident reported in March, saying they must protect the juvenile student's privacy.

Investigators presented evidence to the Sedgwick County District Attorney's Office this week.

"The matter is pending with our office," Georgia Cole, a spokeswoman for the district attorney's office, said. The 17-year-old was still in custody Friday, she said.

Maize superintendent Doug Powers sent an e-mail to parents districtwide on Thursday to inform them of the student's arrest. He said in the e-mail that the student's arrest stemmed from an incident that led to his suspension from school three weeks ago.

"When we have issues with a district this size and scope, we want to communicate" clearly, Powers said Friday. "Ultimately, our job is to take care of kids."

He said the incident was reported to Maize South leaders and took place on school grounds or at a school-sponsored event. Powers said he didn't know of any similar incidents involving the student.

In the e-mail, parents were told how to alert administrators of bullying and other forms of harassment, including a report form on the district's Web site.

Powers said he didn't have much response from parents or students Friday. But he said a few bullying reports were submitted, possibly because of the reminder.

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