Originally created 12/15/00

Assault on teen explored



Teachers and administrators at George P. Butler Comprehensive High School have been placed on alert as police investigate a sexual assault on a 15-year-old student outside the school library.

A page over the school intercom might have been all that stopped the attack, which reportedly occurred about 45 minutes after the final bell Wednesday. The girl told police she was fondled by an older man wearing a black blazer, black slacks and black knit skull cap, whom she had seen at the school that day but didn't recognize.

Richmond County sheriff's investigators were back at the school Thursday. School officials and campus police have been told to keep their eyes open for anything or anybody out of the ordinary, Lt. Jack Francisco said.

"We've still got people to talk to, to see if they've seen or observed this individual," he said.

The assailant grabbed her as she was walking to study hall at about 3:15 p.m., according to police accounts. An incident report said she was pulled to an open area between the breezeway and the building.

The crime was listed as aggravated sodomy.

"She was touched in a sexual manner," Lt. Francisco said. "But she was not raped."

Before the attack went any further, an announcement came over the loudspeaker. The girl yelled that it was her name being called, and he let her go.

It turned out her mother had arrived to pick her up, Lt. Francisco said. The victim was taken to University Hospital for an examination. Investigators are trying to account for the time between the end of the school day and the attack.

The teen-ager said in the report she saw the man leave on foot toward the portable classrooms near the music building. He is described as black, 24 or 25 years old, 5 feet, 9 inches tall and weighing 150 pounds.

Richmond County Board of Education spokesman Donnie Porter would not comment on the case.

Because the matter involved a felony charge, he said, the school system handed it over to the sheriff's department.

Reach Johnny Edwards at (706) 823-3225 or jedwards92@hotmail.com.