Student charged with sexual assault at Grand Rapids Catholic HS

Posted at 11:15 AM, Mar 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-19 12:13:05-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – A Grand Rapids Catholic High School student has been charged with Criminal Sexual Conduct for an alleged incident that happened at the school in the last month.

Cameron Cross, 17, was arraigned Monday morning on four counts of Criminal Sexual Conduct, including one count of Assault with Intent to Commit Sexual Penetration, one count of CSC, 3rd degree and two counts of CSC, 4th degree.  Additional details are not being released.

The charges carrying a possible sentence of total of over 25 years in prison if convicted.

Grand Rapids Police say that the incidents happened on school property between February 14 and March 14.  School administrators learned of the incidents Friday, March 16 and contacted police.

The Diocese of Grand Rapids released a statement Friday:

On Friday, March 16, students reported allegations of inappropriate sexual conduct by a Catholic Central High School student to school administrators. School administrators immediately contacted parents of the affected students and the Grand Rapids Police Department, which is investigating the matter. To ensure the integrity of the police investigation, we will not provide any more details at this time.

Catholic Central High School is committed to providing a safe environment for our students and we take all allegations of sexual misconduct seriously. It has no place in our school community.

We encourage anyone who has information pertaining to this investigation to contact the Grand Rapids Police Department.

The principal of Catholic Central High School, Greg Deja, later sent out the following letter:

I appreciate the prayers and concerns extended by, and to, the Catholic Central community since yesterday. We believe the safety and emotional well-being of all students is critically important. Our primary concerns are for the victims and their families, and to ensure we are doing all that we can to provide a safe environment. Our staff is well equipped to support students as they come back to school tomorrow, and we will have additional counselors, community partners, and other professionals available to coordinate additional resources to support your child. We invited you and your child to express any unmet needs to your child’s counselor.

Initial medial reports may have caused you to question whether the school acted in the best interests of the victims. I want to assure you that the school administrative team took swift action, reporting the allegations promptly to the Grand Rapids Police Department and then following GRPD’s recommendation for how to proceed. Media outlets have adjusted their stories for accuracy, correcting initial reports that suggested the school was reluctant or negligent in contacting law enforcement. We will continue to work within established communication channels to ensure accurate media reporting and public perception of our school. However, what is most important is affirming the trust and support that you, our parents, extend to us.

Above all, I ask for your prayers for all those affected. I am grateful for your partnership as our school community deal with these difficult events.

Anyone with further information is asked to call Grand Rapids Police at 616-456-3400 or Silent Observer at 616-774-2345.