LOCKPORT, NY (WKBW) — An admitted teenage rapist faces a judge in Niagara County Friday regarding an order of protection. His faced was blurred in the video because he could be still granted Youthful Offender status.
The court appearance followed a student walk-out at Niagara Wheatfield High School where the student attends. More than 100-students walked out of Friday at noon in protest over the way they say the district handled this case. The students showed their support for the the female victim forced to face her attacker every day at school.
"As a mother, I have been silently suffering," declared the victim's mother.
The victim's mom delivered an emotional statement after the students walked out. She criticized the Niagara Wheatfield Central School District for originally allowing her daughter's attacker to return to school.
"This injustice piled on top of the despicable act against my daughter makes her a victim over and over again," cried the mom.
The 18-year old convicted rapist returned to school 9-months ago. The incident occurred last year off school property. Last week the defendant was in court where he pleaded guilty to third degree rape.
The victim’s mother says she repeatedly tried to speak with the principal of Niagara Wheatfiled about why he was allowed to return, but said her questions and her pleas quote, "fell on deaf ears."
She told reporters she is "sadden" and "appalled" with how the district handled the entire situation.
"I reviewed the statement from the school district - the statement is not accurate. They got many facts wrong and we will be issuing an actual formal statement at a later time," the mother remarked. "I won't be taking any questions at this time, but I want to give my thanks and appreciation to the entire for their support and love. I am humbled and overwhelmed by the response we have received."
10th grader Jordan Rolland was among the students who walked out Friday in protest. Rolland is friends of the victim.
"I was in shock - I never thought something like that could happen to one of my friends personally - just very sickening," said Rolland.
Today's student protest was first met with opposition inside the school as about a few dozen students prepared to walk out of the building. Some students claim they were told they would not be allowed back in school if they left.
A new statement issued Friday morning by the Niagara Wheatfield superintendent claiming they only learned of the criminal case Thursday, adding the defendant will not be allowed to return to school for the rest of the year. He is also not allowed on school property and is not allowed to attend school activities.
The defendant in this case is set to be sentenced July 25th.