Hazing incident at Grant H.S. now sexual assault investigation

PORTLAND, Ore. - Four members of the JV Boys Basketball team at Grant High School have been suspended after allegedly attacking another boy, according to police and school officials.

The incident was originally reported as an act of hazing and happened in the locker room Thursday Jan. 12. But after an investigation by security officials with Portland Public Schools, the boys were suspended from school.

The incident, however, wasn't reported to police until Tuesday Jan. 17. Portland police said officers from the Youth Services Division's immediately began an investigation at that point.

On Tuesday, Portland police said detectives assigned to the Sex Crimes Unit of the Portland Police Bureau's Detective Division are continuing the investigation and believes "the incidents alleged go beyond simple hazing," according to a police press release issued Tuesday.

Rumors have been flying among Grant students.

"I think they were just messing around, you know, like they're not the kind of guys who would beat a kid up or anything," said student Nick Wagner.

Attorney Tara Lawrence, who is not a part of the Grant case but represents crime victims, told KATU News that what a perpetrator intended by their act can determine whether it's a sex crime.

"Was the person striking the person in the groin or buttocks for sexual gratification or just to be assaultive, a bully, or was it horseplay?" Lawrence said.

Grant High School administrators have instructed coaches that if they weren't doing it before, they must remain in the locker rooms until the last student leaves.

Sources say they believe there could be an announcement related to the case in the coming days.

Police asked that anyone with information about the incidents immediately contact Portland Police detectives.

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