MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md. - The day before four Damascus High School students were set to appear in court on rape charges, broomsticks turned up around the campus, according to the principal.
Five students in all are facing charges for a late October incident in a locker room that was initially reported as "hazing." Investigators now say the students are facing in rape allegations, accused of sexually assaulting four male victims. A source told FOX 5 that the incident involved a broom.
The four suspects are being charged as adults and are scheduled for court appearances Monday.
Principal Casey Crouse sent a letter to parents on Monday informing them of the incident, noting it was intended to "attempt to harm the well-being of DHS students, staff, and community."
Montgomery County police were notified, and the brooms were removed, Crouse said.
Both Montgomery County Public Schools staff members and police checked the school grounds on Monday morning to make sure the brooms had not been replaced.
A parent, who did not want to be identified, was appalled when the brooms were discovered and sent photos to FOX 5.
Complete letter sent to parents:
I am writing to inform you of an incident that occurred this weekend. Sunday evening multiple brooms were found attached to areas on and near the Damascus High School grounds. The police were notified and the items were quickly removed. MCPS staff members and MCPD officers surveyed the areas again Monday morning to ensure that the area was clear of the offensive items. This act is extremely upsetting and clearly demonstrates an attempt to harm the well-being of DHS students, staff and community. An investigation is underway and any person found responsible for this will be assigned consequences according to all applicable laws and in accordance with the MCPS Code of Conduct. Additional counselors and psychologists remain present at DHS to ensure we have support services in place for students and staff. If you have any information related to this incident please contact MCPD at 240-773-6200.