Bellingham student arrested for allegedly raping student at school

Bellingham student arrested for allegedly raping student at school

BELLINGHAM, Wash. — An 18-year-old student at Meridian High School in Bellingham was arrested for allegedly raping another student on campus.

Parents were notified of the sexual assault on Wednesday by email.

The Whatcom County Sheriff's Office says the two were in the wrestling room at the school, when the teen asked an underclassman to have sex.

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Court documents say she repeatedly said no, but the assault still happened.

“She stated she did not want to have sex with him. He told her he would be gentle and told her she would like it. She said no. (He) touched her multiple times to which (she) moved his hand. (He) continued to try to touch her.”

The senior was arrested on Monday on allegations of third-degree rape.

“It’s sad, it's sick, and disgusting. Because I have a daughter here who is mentally delayed, and you know, now I'm going to be a little more alert,” said Marlene Honcoop, a parent at the school.

The incident happened on May 16.

The district says they were made aware after a student told a "trusted adult," and contacted the sheriff's office.

Counseling is being made available to those who need it.

MHS has 476 students enrolled in grades 9-12, including running start students who spend some portion of their schedule at college.

Full statement from the school district:

“The report of sexual assault at our high school is concerning and unsettling. We take the safety and security of our students very seriously. We want every student in our schools to feel safe. We appreciate a student came forward to talk to a trusted adult, who then alerted us to the situation. There have been questions about what has been done. Since this is an ongoing investigation we are working closely with the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office and the families. Due to student privacy laws, I am unable to share information about student discipline. I have also had questions about what systems we have in place when sexual assault is reported on school property, as well as what systems are in place for victims. When we learn of a crime, including sexual assault, we report it immediately to the Whatcom County Sheriff's Office. With respect to what we have in place for victims, our counselors and administration are available and work closely with the student and family to support their needs.”

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