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Investigator: High school sex offender faces 3rd rape charge

3:27 PM, Jun 7, 2011   |    comments
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Prosecutors say he's a "continuing threat to the community," but a Brecksville-Broadview Heights High School student is still walking the halls as he awaits trial on his third rape charge.

The boy was 15 when he was first charged with raping a girl. That case ended with prosecutors agreeing to drop the rape charge in January 2010 in return for the boy pleading guilty to a lesser sex offense.

As that case was progressing, the boy was charged with rape a second time in connection with another girl. A judge ultimately found that prosecutors failed to prove the rape charge beyond a reasonable doubt, but not before the boy was charged yet again with rape. 

One of his alleged victims told Channel 3 News Investigator Tom Meyer that she doesn't think the boy should be allowed to attend the same school.

"At the very least, every single parent should be aware," she said.  The victim's mother said, "it's like having a bank robber work in a bank."

The school principal, Joseph Mueller, refused to discuss -- or even acknowledge -- any of the cases, saying the school honors a student's right to privacy.

He said the district has a strict sex harassment policy that could lead to explusion. Otherwise, he said the school is required to obey the law.

Last September, prosecutors told a juvenile court judge that the boy "presents a continuing threat to the community."  A month later, a judge noted the boy has "inappropriate sexual behavior and anger management issues."

The boy has been in and out of the juvenile detention center and has spent time at a residential treatment center. Still, the court says the district is obligated to educate the boy, and it has.

Channel 3 News checked court records and found 131 under-aged sex offenders living in 25 cities in Cuyahoga County.  They include Cleveland Heights, with four; Parma with five; and Maple Heights and Garfield Heights with six each.

Cleveland has 78.

The boy, who has already been judged a sex offender, is currently enrolled in the Brecksville-Broadview Heights school district as he awaits trial in in July in Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court.

He does not attend the same classes as his alleged victims but,  according to one of the victims, he still walks the same hallways as she does and they see each other during lunch.

"It's uncomfortable. It's upsetting. It's really messed up," said one alleged victim, who accused the boy of forcing her to have oral sex.

WKYC-TV

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