Damascus HS holds meeting for JV football players, parents to discuss locker room sex assault case

Nearly two months after an alleged locker room sexual assault that led to five Damascus High School junior varsity football players to be charged, a meeting was held between school administrators, members of the junior varsity team and their parents at the school Tuesday night.

Investigators say the sexual assault happened at around 2:30 p.m. on Halloween inside a school locker room just before football practice. The alleged victim told police the lights were turned off and he was held down and sexually assaulted with a wooden broomstick.

Four of the Damascus students charged in this case are 15 years old and being charged as adults. Jean Claude Abedi, Kristian Jamal Lee, Will Daniel Smith and Caleb Thorpe were indicted by a grand jury last month. They are each facing charges of first-degree rape, attempted first-degree rape and conspiracy to commit rape, according to prosecutors.

A fifth student has pleaded guilty in juvenile court to third-degree sexual offense, according to sources with knowledge about the case.

On the agenda for Tuesday night's meeting was providing an update to the players and parents about the case, answering questions, discussing strategies that are being implemented at Damascus following the alleged incident and providing resources for counseling services about sexual assault and rape.

FOX 5 attempted to attend the meeting, but school officials would not allow media inside the school or to be even on school property. The school had security posted outside of the meeting and police officers inside as parents had to sign in and be identified.

A source who was inside during the meeting told FOX 5's Anne Cutler that students were being left alone without supervision after school before coaches arrived for practice. However, the students still had access to the locker rooms. The school district told parents they are working for solutions, but do not have one yet and are looking to other schools for ideas.

Some parents also asked about the future of the football program and when the kids can start talking to the coaches again.

The Montgomery County state's attorney is expanding his investigation, according to the source.

Previous FOX 5 Coverage:

Damascus JV player charged as a juvenile pleads guilty in locker room sex assault case, sources say

4 indicted by grand jury in alleged Damascus High School broomstick hazing incident

Attorney for Md. student charged in alleged broomstick assault: Client should be charged as juvenile

4 charged as adults in alleged Damascus High School broomstick hazing incident released on bond

Investigation underway after broomsticks turn up around Damascus HS

Superintendent addresses Damascus, Seneca Valley hazing allegations

Damascus football playoff game goes on; allegations don't extend to varsity team, MCPS says

Damascus football team pressing on after sex assault arrests; coach declines to comment

Report: Assaulted Damascus JV football player heard pleading to attackers to 'stop, stop, stop'

Possible grand jury investigation into Damascus HS locker room rape allegations, officials say

Alleged violent sexual assault at Damascus High compared to graphic scene in 'Thirteen Reasons Why'

5 Damascus High School students charged after alleged Halloween locker room sexual assault incident

Damascus High School assaults, including sexual offenses, under investigation, police say