Berry Middle School student charged with rape

Berry Middle School student charged with rape

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An eighth grade boy has been charged with first degree rape for the sexual assault of a female student at Berry Middle School.

Hoover Police say the female victim was also an 8th grade student. She reported being sexually assaulted in an upstairs boy's restroom.

The assault allegedly happened after the bell rang on Friday, April 13, around 3:30 p.m. when students were on their way to line up for the buses.

"After the victim left school, police were contacted and immediately began investigating. Hoover officials took the suspect into custody at approximately 8 p.m. Friday night," Captain Jim Coker said.

The suspect, whose identity has not been released, was charged with first degree rape and is in custody of the Shelby County Juvenile Detention Center.

"We believe this is an isolated incident and the suspect in this case will not be returning to class," Coker said.

A hearing for the suspect is set for May 2 to determine whether he will stay in the juvenile detention facility in Columbiana or be freed on bond.

Captain Coker says any student with concerns about the incident is encouraged to speak with a School Resource Officer.

"The Hoover Police Department and the Hoover City Schools are committed to providing a safe learning environment for all its students. Criminal activity in our schools will not be tolerated and all reports will be investigated thoroughly and aggressively, and prosecuted to the fullest extent," Coker said.

Berry Middle School principal Kathleen Wheaton issued a letter to parents in response to the police investigation.

"On Friday afternoon, April 13, after school, some Berry students were involved in an incident in one of our restrooms which has resulted in police intervention. The incident was not reported to any Berry faculty/staff. Poilce were notified of the incident after students went hom in the afternoon. Since Friday afternoon, the situation has been handled by Hoover Police," Wheaton said in the letter.

[Read the full letter here.]

Wheaton's letter also stated that other students and staff members were never at risk because of the situation.

"I want to assure you that the faculty and staff at Berry Middle School will continue to work to maintain safety and security for every student on our campus," Wheaton said.

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