NORWOOD, Colo. (CBS4)– Three teenagers from the small town of Norwood will go before a judge in Denver Friday. The trio is accused of sexually assaulting another boy on a school bus during the state wrestling tournament in Denver.
While the wrestlers who qualified for the tournament were weighing in inside the Pepsi Center, two 9th graders, an 8th grader and a 7th grader were left without supervision on a Norwood School bus.
The 7th grader’s uncle said the three boys attacked the younger boy, they taped his hands and ankles and violated him with an object.
Within hours of the boy telling his brother and his brother telling his father, the entire entourage that traveled to Denver, including the wrestling coach, principal, superintendent and school board members, was informed about the incident.
What is in question is whether they met their mandatory obligation to report the suspected sexual assault to police.
The town of Norwood is about 350 miles southwest of Denver. Its population is 440.
“When we investigated this, we felt like, at the time, it wasn’t something. It wasn’t something reported. That needed to be reported. We worked with the parents and we also worked with our attorney on that,” said Norwood Superintendent Dave Crews.
The parents of the students involved are school leaders. The father of two of the suspects is the wrestling coach and school board president.
The alleged victim’s father is the principal, who said he relied on his colleagues to take action.
“I”m not an administrator here, I’m a dad, please take care of this and nothing was done, so you feel like you got nobody on your side,” said the alleged victim’s uncle Alan Hatfield.
The superintendent wouldn’t discuss specific disciplinary action with the case. Multiple sources who didn’t want to be identified told CBS4 that the three suspects received in-school suspensions.
The alleged victim’s family said the boy is still being bullied and called a liar by classmates.
“Can you imagine being a 13-year-old? The poor kid doesn’t sleep and to catch crap at school for it,” said Hatfield.
After Denver Police recommended charges of sexual assault, kidnapping and false imprisonment, the victim’s family feels as though the entire town is turning on them.
“I think they all basically thought it was just going to go away. I mean, something like this has never happened in Norwood,” said Hatfield.
The suspects’ lawyer told CBS4 the boys were released to their parents after they posted $25,000 each. They were ordered to wear GPS tracking devices until their court appearance Friday when the Denver District Attorney is expected to file formal charges.