St. Louis County prosecutors on Thursday charged a Proctor High School football player in connection with the sexual assault of a teammate.
The student, 17, is facing a felony count of criminal sexual conduct.
According to the juvenile petition, a third party sent a lewd photo from the 15-year-old alleged victim's Snapchat account over Labor Day weekend. The post prompted a response on social media that the teen was going to "get the plunger."
When school resumed on Sept. 7, 2021, prosecutors allege that a group of players chased the 15-year-old out of the locker room, tackled him near the practice field, and held him down while the 17-year-old sexually assaulted him with the wooden plunger handle.
The petition says the assault happened in an area that was “within the field of view of a security camera,” however the camera was not functioning, and no video of the attack exists.
In their court filing, prosecutors say that interviews with Proctor football players “revealed that the toilet plunger was regularly used in conjunction with crass locker room behaviors; most often the toilet plunger was used to touch other players with the rubber end. None of the prior incidents reported by the players involved acts of sexual assault or penetration.”
MPR News is not naming the student who was charged because he has not been certified to stand trial as an adult.
In a statement, the St. Louis County Attorney’s Office says it plans to ask a judge to move the case to adult court. Prosecutors say no one else is being charged, but the investigation remains open. The petition also notes that “multiple witnesses reported being unsure” of who helped hold the alleged victim down.
The statement goes on to say that the investigation was “unnecessarily complicated and delayed” by a large amount of “social media speculation,” and investigators were forced to devote their limited resources to responding to online rumors.
The incident led the district near Duluth, Minn., to cancel the remainder of its football season.
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