Police investigating Tri County HS athlete, accused of attempted sexual assault

Posted at 4:57 PM, Oct 20, 2015

HOWARD CITY, Mich. — Police in Montcalm County are investigating claims a 17-year-old Tri County High School senior was involved in an attempted sexual assault of a younger female student near campus.

FOX 17 obtained documents detailing the ongoing police investigation through the state’s Freedom of Information Act.

The female student alerted school officials on Sept. 23, the day after she alleges the incident took place on a trail in woods located just beyond the high school campus.

While a volleyball game was happening on campus, the girl told police she and the male student were on the trail together when he grabbed her, forced her to kiss him and then attempted to have sex with her, telling her she “had to,” according to documents.

Documents go on to detail an interview conducted with a student witness who told police he never saw any assault take place and was under the impression the two students were joking around when he saw them on the trail that night.

However, the same student also told police that later the same evening the alleged victim found him to describe what had happened to her on the trail after he walked away, saying she was pushed to the ground by the senior who threatened to hurt her if she didn’t comply with his requests.

The senior told police in an interview he never picked up or pushed the girl and said the two were originally kissing behind the middle school when the girl requested the two walk to the trail.

Tri-County Schools Superintendent Allen Cumings declined to comment specifically on an open investigation, instead issuing a statement to FOX 17:

Several weeks ago, a student reported being assaulted by another student on district property after the
school day had concluded. As is our policy, we immediately took steps to launch an investigation,
stabilize the situation, and cooperate with law enforcement in their investigation. Since this is an active
investigation, the district is working closely with law enforcement and the individuals involved to
provide both active support and to protect the rights of everyone involved.

We are committed to following our student investigation and due process protocols, and law
enforcement is doing the same. In unique cases such as this, there is a need for confidentiality and
discretion, as well as sensitivity and empathy. We want to emphasize that this situation is still under
investigation. Frequent contacts are occurring with both students and their parents and out of respect
for all concerned, we ask that everyone refrain from speculation and gossip regarding those involved.

While it is human nature to want to discuss these issues, we would ask that you focus instead on the
many good things that are happening within our district this year. Tri County Area Public Schools has
great parent volunteers and our students, teachers and staff members continue to demonstrate
excellence in the arts, athletics, and academics. Tri County is a district that continues to help all children

No charges have yet been filed.

Michigan State Police told FOX 17 the investigation has been submitted to the Montcalm County Prosecutor’s Office for review to determine if or what charges the teen could face.  He would be charged as an adult.

Documents from police indicate the senior in question had been suspended from school.