Juvenile Court to handle sodomy charge
Russell County High student faces charges


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A Russell County High School student faces a charge of second-degree sodomy after an alleged involvement with a younger female student from the school. School officials say they have found no evidence any sexual misconduct occurred on the school campus.

The mother of the younger student lodged a complaint with the Russell County Sheriff’s Department at 5:38 p.m. April 7, Sheriff Tommy Boswell said Wednesday. Because both were juveniles, Boswell said he can release very little information about the case and that the charges will be handled through Russell County Juvenile Court. The case will not go to a county grand jury.

The mother who filed the complaint expressed concern Wednesday about the way the school and the Russell County School System have dealt with the matter.

"I’ve been trying to get teachers to keep them apart," said the mother, whose identity is being withheld to protect the child. "The principal, teachers and superintendent knew about this. After formal charges were made, the investigator, Grover Goodrich, told these people they had to keep these girls apart."

Superintendent Rebecca Lee said the school district investigated the mother’s complaints.

"As far as I know, this is an out-of-school deal," Lee said. "I understand the mother disagrees. I can’t control outside. We didn’t find anything that pertained to this school."

The mother complained the contacts started last fall between her daughter, who was 14, and an older female student, and that incidents occurred in school bathrooms and "on a school bus coming back from a football game."

"There are chaperones on the bus and the driver," she said. "The explanation I get is all they’re responsible for is making sure they get to and from the game safely. They’re saying they are not responsible for conduct on the bus."

"They always carry extra chaperones on the bus," Lee said. "We can’t make sure they don’t pass each other in the halls. I can’t give her daughter one-on-one supervision. She’s going to have to monitor her daughter."

The mother said she found letters from people talking to her daughter about where they met in the school bathrooms.

"She (her daughter) never did say how it first occurred. She came home with a book explaining how to do things, a book she bought. I was cleaning her room and found the book under the bed," the mother said. "I made her get rid of the book. Even a teacher took it away from her in class and returned it to her. I asked why they didn’t call me and let me come pick up the book."

The mother said her daughter left the Web site Myspace.com on the home computer and she noticed information about such relationships on the site.

She said her daughter is "angry and confused" and going through therapy but is getting better.

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