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Ryan Coventon

Bethany Police Investigating Sexual Assault Video

Ryan Coventon - Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Bethany police are investigating an apparent sexual assault and child pornography video being distributed at Putnam City West High School.

Reports say that some students voluntarily showed a Snapchat video, which appeared to depict the sexual assault of a teenage girl, to a teacher at Putnam City West High School. The teacher, in turn, reported the video to the school's principal. Although the principal did not recognize the girl in the video, he did recognize the presence of several PC West students at the scene.

The principal contacted Bethany police, who determined that the apparent assault of the girl took place at a house party in Bethany. Investigators say a 17-year-old girl was "incoherent while being sexually assaulted" by two males, later identified as a 17-year-old boy and a 21-year-old man.

Investigators say at least nine people--all students under the age of 18--recorded the alleged assault or participated in it. 

Because these individuals decided to record and distribute the video, Bethany police are investigating their actions as manufacture and distribution of child pornography. They could face felony charges in addition to the charges faced by those who actively engaged in the sexual assault of the incoherent girl. As Bethany Police Lt. Angelo Orefice told reporters, "As far as the sexual assault, that's just one aspect. The second aspect is going to be the manufacturing and distributing of child pornography, since other people at the party decided to film it and share it."

In 2016, people around the nation were outraged when a 17-year-old boy was found not guilty of forcible sodomy after making an intoxicated and incoherent girl perform oral sex on him. Because the law did not stipulate that a person who was heavily intoxicated could not consent to oral sex, the act was not considered "forcible." However, that case prompted Oklahoma legislators to change the law to close the loophole that became known as the "orifice defense." Sexual intercourse with a person who is unconscious was already against the law under the state's rape laws. However, oral sex with an unconscious person was not illegal until the Justice for JW Act of 2016 was passed a month later.

Pending the investigation, no charges have been filed; however, depending on the acts depicted in the video, the perpetrators could face charges of first degree rape, rape by instrumentation, sexual battery, and/or forcible sodomy. Those who recorded the video and distributed it could face charges of production and/or distribution of child pornography. 

Image credit: Pro Juventute


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