T-shirts worn to support WFB student accused of sexual assault

WHITEFISH BAY (WITI) -- A 15-year-old Whitefish Bay High School student has been arrested for allegedly sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl in a stairwell at the school one week ago. On Thursday, April 25th, some of the classmates of the accused showed their support for him -- wearing homemade T-shirts to school.

Police are recommending charges of second-degree sexual assault against the Whitefish Bay student for the alleged sexual assault. A police report indicates the alleged assault happened around 5:15 p.m. on Thursday, April 18th in a stairwell at Whitefish Bay H.S.

One week later, some Whitefish Bay students wearing homemade T-shirts were told to cover up or change their shirts, and the message of solidarity began on social media.

The message of support for the accused spread on sites like Twitter -- some saying they believe he did nothing wrong.

"A lot of them think it wasn't the guy's fault at all. It was totally consensual and the girl is just saying that it wasn't. I personally don't believe that," one student told FOX6 News.

Whitefish Bay senior Emily Kelly says the school didn't think so highly of the gesture of support for the accused.

"A lot of the teachers are saying either cover it up or take it off. (The students are) willing to do it. They don't want to start more problems," Kelly said.

Kelly reports that besides the homemade T-shirts, some students wore white in support of the accused.

"Then there's also a lot of people wearing bandanas because he wore bandanas a lot," Kelly said.

In a police report, the alleged victim has indicated she was forced to perform sex acts on the accused. The police report says the alleged victim told the accused to "stop" and "let me go." The report says "she punched suspect in the stomach as hard as she could." That's when the accused "released his hold of her, she scrambled to her feet, ran up the stairs and out of the stairwell."

The accused in the same police report has a much different story of events. He told police the alleged victim "had 'touched his private' which surprised him as they never really interacted that way." The accused said in the police report, "he did not ask to perform the sex act and thought to himself 'we should not be doing this in school,' but did not stop her."

Whitefish Bay police viewed the school's video system. According to the police report, the alleged sexual assault "was not captured on video." However, it does show the alleged victim and the accused in the building together around the time of the alleged assault.

School officials say as soon as they were made aware of the alleged assault, they contacted police.

In a statement sent to parents Tuesday afternoon, the Whitefish Bay School District said, "the District is in the process of taking appropriate disciplinary measures as a result of this incident in accordance with District policy."

Students and parents at Whitefish Bay H.S. were shocked to hear the allegations.  They were initially concerned because they didn't know what "incident" had occurred -- and rumors spread.

"It's difficult because they are so young and poor decisions are made at that age, and answers need to be found out," parent Jennifer Kelly said.

The superintendent of Whitefish Bay School District told FOX6 News the release that was issued was written in a way to protect the students involved while disciplinary action is being taken.

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