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Former Student Charged with Rape in School Restroom

A former Palmetto High School student was arrested Wednesday and charged with raping another student in a bathroom at the school last March, according to the Palmetto Police Department.

Darrell Simmons Jr., 18, is charged with sexual battery on a victim over 12 years of age after he allegedly forced himself on another student in the bathroom at Palmetto High School during lunch period.

“The charges filed by the Palmetto Police Department yesterday against a student at Palmetto High School are extremely serious and the Manatee County School District is committed to cooperating fully throughout the course of this case,” Mike Barber, spokesperson for the School District of Manatee said in a statement.

According to the report, on March 18, Simmons grabbed the victim by the arm and forced them into the boy’s bathroom. He then tried pulling down the victim’s clothing, a report said. The victim resisted, however Simmons was able to force the victim’s pants down, the report said.

Barber said Palmetto High School administrators, including Principal Willie Clark, have been aware of the allegations since last April and responded in accordance with the School District of Manatee County's Code of Student Conduct.

Simmons reportedly denied the allegations at first, but then admitted to forcing himself on the victim "the first time" during an interview with police on September 4.

“Because this is an ongoing criminal matter and involves student confidentiality, the Manatee County School District and Palmetto High School officials are prohibited from commenting on this matter.”

The victim also changed their story, signing a sworn statement on April 12 that they had been raped in the bathroom, but then declaring in an interview on April 23 that the sex was consensual.

Simmons was taken to Manatee County Jail where he is being held on a $15,000 bond.

Carolyn Bartlett September 05, 2013 at 08:48 PM
Why does it take so long for the School Board to deal with their stuff? Another star football player? Deal with this stuff and protect the students....

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