AP: Sex assaults in high school sports minimized as 'hazing'

An Associated Press investigation has found that student-on-student sexual assault in the U.S. is perhaps nowhere as dismissed or as camouflaged as in boys’ sports.

Records show boys have suffered serious injury and trauma, yet cases often are minimized as “hazing.”

The AP examined more than 300 cases of student-on-student sexual violence that surfaced through law enforcement records, lawsuits, interviews and news accounts. The sports setting emerged in those cases as a leading venue for such attacks.

Experts say the last decade has seen an escalation into sexual violence on high school and even middle school teams.

The review is part of AP’s larger look at student-on-student sex assaults. Analyzing state education records, supplemented by federal crime data, AP found about 17,000 official reports of sex assaults by students in grades K-12 during a recent four-year period.

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If you have a tip, comment or story to share about student-on-student sexual assault at K-12 schools, please email: schoolhousesexassault@ap.org

EDITOR’S NOTE _ Second in a monthlong Associated Press investigative series focusing on sexual assaults by students on students in the nation’s elementary and secondary schools.

SCHOOLHOUSE SEX ASSAULT-ONE SCHOOL’S STORY

Clash over middle-school sex assaults: Did they happen?

ESTILL, S.C. (AP) – Four years after what appeared to be one of the largest single cases of sex assault on US school grounds, it’s not clear what happened.

Were at least four middle-school students, ages 11 to 14, victimized by as many as 30 kids in a gym bathroom in Estill, South Carolina?

The sheriff’s office investigated and filed an incident report, but a prosecutor never took up the case. Estill Middle School said it couldn’t determine what, if anything, happened.

But one grandmother has filed a lawsuit accusing the impoverished district of failing to protect kids.

In a yearlong investigation, The Associated Press uncovered about 17,000 official reports of sex assaults by students in U.S. K-12 schools over four years. AP’s analysis was based on state education records and supplemented by federal crime data, where the 2013 incident reported at Estill Middle School stood out.

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