Crime

Brazos Valley students charged after forcibly removing student’s clothing, documents say

Four students facing felony charges after another student was allegedly targeted for rape

CALDWELL, Texas (KBTX) – Four Caldwell High School students are facing felony charges of indecency with a child by exposure after an incident on a school bus on September 21, 2021.

Court documents state the incident happened when a sports team was returning to Caldwell. The four students are accused of trying to take the clothes off another student near Cameron, Texas.

Milam County investigators took the lead in the case and issued the warrants for the students.

Court documents describe how the students tried to undress a fellow student. The documents further claim one of the defendants told police they were looking for a target to rape. The victim told investigators her shorts and underwear were pulled down to her shins, the document states.

One defendant claimed it was a tradition that happens each year. KBTX-TV asked Caldwell ISD if that was true and Superintendent Andrew Peters said they are investigating the claim.

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Court documents also stated a defendant walked up to a person and said, “We basically just raped your [relative] on the bus ride home.”

One suspect is 18 while the other three are 17. All four of the students were booked and released at the Burleson County Jail last Thursday on personal recognizance bonds of $20,000.

“Caldwell ISD is committed to providing a safe environment for all students. We currently are actively in an investigation and cannot comment at this time,” said Kim Pagach, Caldwell ISD Director of Communications, in a prepared statement.

Three defense attorneys representing the students believe the charges will be dismissed based on their knowledge of the case. The attorneys further said the incident was a prank or a possible hazing incident. Defense Attorney Craig Greening told KBTX TV the intent of the students was to “pants” the fellow student but at no time was that victim naked.

“We found out that the deputy in Milam County got an arrest warrant from a J.P. in Milam County without consulting the District Attorney in Milam County first. Which we believe is a classic case of overcharging,” said Greening.

Greening showed KBTX witness statements that had just been subpoenaed.

“We believe that this was a prank. We don’t believe that this should be a sexual offense,” said Greening.

Many in town are asking why this isn’t being investigated in Burleson County. While the crime happened on a Caldwell ISD bus, they were traveling in Milam County.

“The Burleson County Sheriff’s Office did not have jurisdiction to file any charges so we met with the mother and we explained to her the process what she needed to do. We referred her to the Milam County Sheriff’s Office,” said Chief Deputy John Pollock, of the Burleson County Sheriff’s Office.

Caldwell’s superintendent told KBTX-TV the bus did not have a camera on it because it was new. He says all buses now have cameras. We’ve also left messages with the Milam County Sheriff’s Office for more details on their case, but have not heard back.

Written by Clay Falls

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