Sumter Police Chief Russell Roark speaks to the media Wednesday about the arrests.
SUMTER, SC (WIS) -
Two Sumter High School football players have been arrested and charged with second degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor and conspiracy, according to the Sumter Police Department.
In May, a 14-year-old boy reported to police that three people assaulted him while in a bathroom/locker room at Sumter High School, police said.
According to investigators, the boy reported that two people held him down while a third subject penetrated him in a sexual manner with an unknown object. The alleged assault happened in February, police said.
The warrant in this case said the students also threatened the victim with repercussions against him or the victim's sibling if he told authorities.
The victim identified two of the subjects involved in the incident as Deonte Lowery, 16, and Tiquan Colclough, 16. Lowery is listed as a wide receiver and Colclough is listed as a cornerback on the Sumter High School football roster. Both are juniors.
Lowery and Colclough were arrested and charged as adults on Tuesday. They each posted $20,000 surety bond and have been released from custody.
Police are still looking for the third person who was involved in the alleged incident.
But how come it took so long for charges to be filed in this incident if it happened back in February? Sumter Police Chief Russell Roark III says sexual assaults involving minors just take longer.
"It's a very traumatic experience. It takes time to work with the victim to provide the information back to law enforcement for us to collaborate certain elements provided by the victim," said Roark. "It takes quite a period of time."
The Sumter County School District released a statement saying they are taking the incident "very seriously" and they've pledged to cooperate with police.
"The district is treating the charges as a Category I offense in accordance with our discipline policy. The students have been suspended pending the outcome of a disciplinary hearing. During this time, the students will not be permitted on school grounds, nor can they participate in extra curricular activities," said the statement.
Anyone with information on this incident is urged to contact the Sumter Police Department at (803) 436-2717 or Crimestoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC. Callers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a cash reward.
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