Watch CBS News

Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina 'Disturbed, Saddened' By Rape Allegations At Bronx Junior High School

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) -- Shocking rape allegations involving two students at a Bronx junior high school were under investigation late Thursday.

As CBS2's Tony Aiello reported, two girls, ages 12 and 13, said they were attacked in the middle of the day by two boys, ages 13 and 14, right in the auditorium at JHS 145 in the Claremont section of the borough on Oct. 16.

Police said the girls were taken to an isolated section of the auditorium around lunchtime and attacked, the Associated Press reported.

According to a police complaint, the 14-year-old boy told the 13-year-old boy, "Let's switch bodies," and they then changed places – taking turns assaulting one of the girls.

Authorities were called and the girls were taken to a hospital.

Many parents said they were kept in the dark about the alleged sex crime.

"I don't know anything. I'm going inside the school to get the specifics - to see what is going on," said parent Teo Lopez.

And one parent 1010 WINS' Carol D'Auria spoke with blames security for not paying attention.

"How could that happen if you had security sitting up in the front? I feel like security wasn't doing their jobs because the auditorium is right here in the front. I mean, what were they doing at the time and why was the auditorium open if it was empty?" the father said.

Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina 'Disturbed, Saddened' By Rape Allegations At Bronx Junior High School

Attorney Alan Ripka represents the alleged victims.

"They're traumatized," Ripka said. "How would a 12- and 13-year-old girl do if they were raped and sodomized by young men inside the school – the place where they're supposed to be safe?"

Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña called the rape allegations "deeply disturbing."

"First of all, I'm the mother of two daughters," Fariña said. "So I take something like this extremely seriously, and it's obviously a tragedy. We're still investigating."

Fariña said in a statement that the NYPD is addressing the issue, and the Department of Education is providing additional guidance counselors and support at the school.

Like some parents, Ripka believes the school failed to safeguard the students.

"During the course of time that this was happening, nobody from the school, as far as we know, did anything to search the whereabouts of the girls -- or of the boys, for that matter," he said,

The 14-year-old boy was charged as a juvenile with two counts of rape, sexual misconduct, and forcible touching. Charges against the 13-year-old were pending Thursday afternoon.

The NYPD Special Victims Unit is working on the case.

The girls' attorney said the Department of Education wants him to testify against the alleged attackers at a school disciplinary hearing next week. He called that request "outrageous" and said the girls will not attend.

You May Also Be Interested In These Stories:

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.