Buchanan HS athletes accused of sexual assault

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Two Buchanan High School athletes are accused of sexually assaulting a fellow teenager. The alleged incident happened in July 2015. Action News investigated what happened and why it seems the athletes have not been disciplined at school.

More than 3000 students walk the hallways of Buchanan every day. Two of them have a lawsuit against them claiming they sexually assaulted a 16-year-old girl.

It says the boys hurt her emotionally, but also physically enough that her injuries caused permanent disability.

Clovis police confirm they took a report of a sexual assault with multiple suspects, but most of the report is confidential because it involved juveniles. Records from juvenile court are also usually confidential.

"The rules are very stringent in not releasing anything dealing with a juvenile proceeding in the juvenile courts," said ABC30 legal analyst Tony Capozzi. "It's something there to protect the children."

Capozzi says Clovis Unified may want to protect other students from those charged with crimes, but investigating the case may be tough.
None of the attorneys involved in the case wanted to talk to Action News and the civil lawsuit revealed very few details of the assault. Although it names the suspects, we're not, because they are minors.

But we uncovered court documents filed in the last month in which the plaintiff's attorney says at least one of the boys was criminally charged with sexual assault, and the same boy admitted he and his guests engaged in underage drinking. That would be a "Code of Conduct" violation for an athlete and Capozzi says it's enough for the school district to launch an investigation.

"The fact that some of these civil proceedings indicate one of the juveniles had been prosecuted, had been drinking, was under the influence of alcohol, those are factors the school can now consider because it's in the civil complaint," he said.

A Clovis Unified spokesperson told us they can't address specific student discipline matters, but they plan to investigate the documents Action News found.
Attorneys for the boys didn't return calls from an Action News reporter, but they have filed a response in court saying they deny any damages and that if any acts occurred, the girl consented.

An attorney for one of the boys did return a call to Action News after the deadline we gave him for the story. He simply told us it was not appropriate for him to comment.
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