Investigation Continues Into Sexual Battery ‘Game’ In Natrona County Schools
The investigation continues into the origins of a sexual battery "game" in middle and high schools in the Natrona County School District, while Casper Police say a number of summons requests and citations have been issued in the case.
Police say they're working with school officials to try to find out how this "challenge", which involves young men daring one another to touch girls inappropriately, got started. "Right now we don't really have an origin for how this began, but our investigation continues," said Sgt. Scott Jones. "We're contacting students, interviewing them, and teachers who may have heard about it, just to try to get a handle on exactly why this began, and what we can do to combat it."
Between citations and summons requests Sgt. Jones says there are at least a half dozen charges so far, adding that some may involve a single student with more than once instance. Although he could not release specifics, he said the schools have also taken action. "The school does not hesitate to drop the hammer on students who behave in this way, and it is unflinching, and they will be removed from the school setting."
So far the offenses have been classified as misdemeanors but Sgt. Jones says he doesn't want to minimize the crimes, and school counselors and others resources have been called into play. "When requested, and when possible, the Casper Police P.D. Victim/Witness Unit does respond and help these young women out with the trauma that they deal with when they're victimized in this way," said Sgt. Jones.
When the incidents came to light, school staff and resource officers addressed students about the issue, which gained media attention. Sgt. Jones said as of Wednesday they've only received one additional report, which turned out to be unfounded.
There are measures parents can take to help mitigate such situations, according to Sgt. Jones. "First of all, if you're the parent of a young man sit down, spend some time with them, tell them 'look, this isn't funny, this isn't a game, there will be consequences,' and express to them that you have zero tolerance for them behaving in this way," he said. "If you're the parent of a young woman who is going to school, or even if they're not in school, let them know that you should not tolerate this type of behavior from anyone you might be close to or just anyone approaching you and if so, please report it so that we can intervene and put a stop to it."