Friday, June 25, 2010

CPS Report Confirms Carmel High School Players Subjected Victim To Criminal Deviate Sexual Conduct

A newly-released investigative report from Child Protective Services concerning allegations that several Carmel High School basketball players sexually assaulted a freshman teammate confirms the veracity of the allegations made by a 14-year old victim, and it ignites new concerns that Hamilton Co. Prosecutor Sonia Leerkamp went out of her way to protect the accused from more serious sex charges during a grand jury proceeding that recommended only non-felony, non-sexual charges against the four players accused of sexually assaulting the 14-year old. The CPS report concluded that the victim's allegations of criminal sexual deviate conduct were substantiated by the investigation.

Robert Turner, an attorney representing the victim in a lawsuit against the school district, released the CPS report containing graphic descriptions of multiple sexual assaults of the victim by the accused, with the consent of the victim's parents; otherwise, the reports aren't generally released to the public. The CPS investigation began after the victim was taken by his parents to Clarian North Hospital's emergency room on February 17, 2010 for treatment of injuries he received when he was held down and anally penetrated on a school bus returning from a basketball game in Terre Haute by senior members of the basketball team, including Scott Laskowski, Brandon Hoge and Robert Kitzinger. The victim claims he was lured to the back of the bus that night by the accused where Laskowski grabbed his legs, Kitzinger sat on his head and together they pulled down his pants while Brandon Hoge anally penetrated him with his finger through his shorts. He said he yelled for help but the coaches sitting at the front of the bus apparently did not hear his calls for help. The report confirms that a video recorder on the bus captured the assault, including a claim by a police detective investigating the case that the video showed Hoge sexually assaulting the victim. That is contrary to a claim by Leerkamp that the video tape was too dark and grainy to discern what had transpired.

According to the report, the harassment and sexual assaults of the victim began months earlier. At first, the three basketball players from the bus that night and another senior player, Oscar Falodun, began by exposing their genitals and butts to the victim. As the incidents escalated, the senior players began grabbing the victim's genitals.  Eventually, the four on various occasions "gooched" him, which the report describes as the act of anally penetrating the victim with a finger. On one occasion, the players carried the victim into the school's locker room shower and anally penetrated him through his shorts. During each assault, the victim says he was penetrated by a finger through his shorts. The victim didn't report the earlier incidents because the senior players threatened to "beat his ass" if he told on them. A witness told investigators that he witnessed the accused sexually assault the victim in the school's locker room on multiple occasions.

Investigators attempted to interview the accused through contacts with their attorneys, but only Falodun agreed to be interviewed. He told investigators the senior players began harassing the victim after he made a claim that he had a sexual encounter with a girl in the locker room and the senior players didn't believe him. He admitted they sometimes shoved him and threw his belongings into the shower, but he insists that neither he nor the other senior players gooched the victim. He said the senior players often gooched themselves but never engaged in inappropriate sexual conduct with the victim.

An attorney for one of the accused, James Voyles, is angry that Turner released the CPS report and expressed concern about the prejudice to his client in his upcoming trial on misdemeanor assault charges. Voyles may seek a gag order prohibiting Turner from releasing any further information concerning his client's case before he is tried. Leerkamp's office is not commenting on the CPS report yet.

Based on the information contained in the CPS report, its seems incomprehensible that a grand jury would have rejected more serious sex charges against the accused in this case. A grand jury only has to find probable cause for charging the accused with a crime, not the proof beyond a reasonable doubt standard applied during trial on the charges. There have been rumors that Leerkamp put on witnesses in the grand jury proceedings favorable to the accused who said the victim consented to being penetrated. If Leerkamp allowed persons to testify to the grand jury who she should have had strong reason to believe were perjuring themselves to protect the accused, that would constitute prosecutorial misconduct. The detective's claim that the bus' video showed the assault on the victim and the penetration of him by Hoge raises concern about whether Leerkamp allowed the grand jury to see the video and why she told the media the video was too dark and grainy to discern anything. Taken together, I have to agree with Turner that the entire transcript of the grand jury proceeding should be released to the public. If Leerkamp has cleans hands, then she should explain to the public why she reached conclusions that are so at odds with this CPS report.

8 comments:

Indy Student said...

This is absolutely sickening. I'm glad the parents gave permission to release this report so we can see what is really going on at Carmel High School.

Advance Indiana said...

Remember how Leerkamp claimed in the case involving the underaged Purdue student who drove into retention pond after leaving a party where he was served alcohol that the law against serving minors only applied to businesses that sold alcohol? I'm guessing Leerkamp believe no sexual assault occurred since the victim still had his shorts on while the accused were fingering his ass. That seems to be how her logic works.

artfuggins said...

Corrupt Sonia Leerkamp should be disbarred.

Indy4U2C said...

This information is proof that Sonia Leerkamp violated her oath as prosecutor and as a judicial officer. She is unfit to be a member of the bar.

In fact, her behavior and failure to prosecute the VIOLENT SEXUAL FELONIES that took place give cause for the U. S. Attorney to step in and take all appropriate action to stop her custom, policy and practice of covering up/allowing deprivation of a person's constitutional right to be secure in his person against unreasonable seizure by Carmel High School Basketball members.

Josh said...

A kid gets carried into a shower with his shorts still on and a few kids torment him, never having taken his shorts off, and the kid yells in protest. When they all exit, a witness is able to positively declare that he saw the victim get penetrated anally? I doubt it. I'm sure they were grabbing at him, and I'm sure he was resisting and yelling, but I highly doubt any witness could positively ascertain that "a finger, although still outside the shorts, was inserted anally," in a scrum like I just described. Right there is why you can't charge the older guys with felony sex crimes.

Also, the victim went to the emergency room for this in late February and said the incident occurred in November, but he couldn't remember the exact date. Are you kidding me? So it hurt bad enough that he had to go see a doctor, and it as urgent enough that he go to the emergency room, but he waited 3 to 4 months before he spoke up? Of course, anyone's response would be "because he was too embarrassed and scared," but NOW, he's not too embarrassed and scared to have every minute details of this assault released to the public, right? It was his family's choice to release those DCS reports. They didn't have to tell the world about the kid getting rectally violated.

Look, I don't know what happened, and if the story truly went down the way the victim described, then yes, this was a sick and heinous crime. But I've got a lot of problems with this story- enough that if I were the prosecutor, it would be hard to make the decision to essentially end 4 kids' lives by charging them with sexual felonies before they had graduated high school.

-If he was really being rectally penetrated and screaming, was there not a single fellow freshman that would help him escape?

-On the bus, there were 3 seniors and the rest freshmen. Would the freshmen teammates not at least help out THAT night when they had numbers?

-If the kid was really being rectally penetrated daily, do we really believe that word wouldn't spread about this earlier, and cause a concerned parent to make a complaint?

-If the damage incurred by the events in November were so bad that they required emergency attention in February, then why did this pain/injury/damage not cause the kid problems earlier that he wouldn't be able to hide from parents, doctor, friends, anyone who saw him sit down?

-I can somewhat understand if there was one weirdo who did something like this and paid the price for it later. In a school of 4,000 there's bound to be a weirdo, maybe even a murderer in the bunch. But four? I'm not so sure. This isn't the type of crime that kids would influence others to take part in. I believe that if it were as bad as it was in the report, then all 4 of these kids would have countless other discipline issues, and probably other legal issues.

Sorry, I agree that AS WRITTEN, these are terrible crimes that deserve punishment, but I'm not buying that it happened as written.

Advance Indiana said...

You're quite wrong, Josh, in the timing of these incidents. He said the harassment began in November. He went to the ER after the bus assault in February. He didn't wait three months to go to the ER and complain about any injuries he suffered during the assault. Falodun confirms the accused were into this ritual. He says they did it to themselves and not the victim. It seems unlikely to me that straight senior athletes are going to be fingering each other's butts just for the hell of it but what do I know about kids these days.

Indy Student said...

Josh, not only are several parts of your post just plain wrong according to the report (please re-read it, it isn't that long), you are looking at this similarly to a defense attorney, and then say "if I was prosecutor."

Remember, a prosecutor prosecutes for CHARGES. Someone CHARGED with a crime is not guilty until a trial is had and the verdict is rendered. You do not need iron clad full proof evidence to charge someone with a crime.

And prosecutors are generally very pro-victim. Our prosecutor, Brizzi (and I hate to use him as an example), often says "Criminals have a choice. Victims don't." They're sticking up for the little guy. All that jazz. What you and Leerkamp are doing are speaking like defense attorneys.

Maybe you should look at this case as a parent, Josh. I'm not one, but if I were, I'd be asking the question if I want my son or daughter going to a school where thugs like this are part of the upper class of the school? Or even worse, would I feel comtorable if my son was in the locker room with these young men (and let's not kid ourselves, these alleged perps are men, over the age of consent).

Jenette Fairchild said...

Warsaw Indiana cps is a joke. I filed 2 tort claims against 2 corrupt police officers had charges trumped up on me.
My house was searched by 12 county officers looking for business records that they were told our attorney had, after searching 2 hours and completly ransacked our house they left laughing. They didn’t even have a warrent. When my husband got home he was ticked. Called the police wanting a copy of the warrent they didn’t have it. Two days later they got a judge to sign one. It was dated 2 days late? Cps has illegally entered my house and taken all my grandchildren. One granddaughter who was molested by her other grandmother or her dog molesting son were not sure which was found abandoned in a NYC crack house. Warsaw cps said this is fine.WHAT? Kosciusko county has a vandata against me and my grandchildren are the ones paying for the retaliation. Cps has only lied and made up things and continue to purge themselves in court. Elise mandaville has told 3 lies to judge huffer and my daughters court appointed attorney seems to be working for these crooks. My grandchildren were in a very stable and safe enviroment until cps fraudulantly removed them and placed them in danger. Our concerns go unchecked no follow up only cover up. My other daughter and her husband left Indiana when cps started harassing them only to have Warsaw contact Michigan cps and they harassed them one time and found nothing.in Warsaw I’m sure there would have been trumped up malicious false aqusations to continue to harass my family