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Alleged sexual assault on school bus investigated

Posted: 4:12 PM, Aug 22, 2018
Updated: 2018-08-22 23:38:43Z
Alleged sex assault on school bus investigated

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla.-- School police in Palm Beach County are investigating the report of a sexual assault on a school bus.

The victim said it happened on the second day of school during a 30-minute bus ride home from the school in the Palm Beach Gardens area. Palm Beach Gardens police assisted in the investigation.

Names, ages, and the school have been withheld in the police report, but it says a minor male suspect has been arrested.

The victim, who is a senior in high school, notified police less than two hours after she got off the bus.

According to the police report, the boy cornered the girl in her seat, pinched her and told her not to move or say anything.

He then put his hand in her shirt, and down her skirt, according to the report.

Repeatedly, the victim said she told the boy "no" and "stop" and tried to move away from him.

Carol Gordon-Messam with Palm Beach County Victims Services says this incident highlights the importance of not being afraid to speak up. 

"You can be loud. Say 'STOP! I don't want this, why are doing this? Why are you doing this?' And it alerts others in the area to pay attention."

In the report, the victim says she was warned by the boy that he knows where she lives.

Police confronted the boy who they say admitted to the assault and "regretted what he did."

Palm Beach County School District Police Chief Frank Kitzerow issued this statement:

This incident is a reminder that we have to have hard conversations with our children about how to protect themselves from predators who could be anywhere and of any age.  Children and teenagers need to know it's ok to yell out, and especially make a scene, in order to protect themselves from perpetrators who will try to use verbal threats, the threat of embarrassment and physical intimidation to ensure the cooperation of their victim.

According to a police report, surveillance video on the bus corroborated the victim's story.

The boy is facing charges of sexual battery and kidnapping for holding the victim against her will in the bus seat.