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Portsmouth teen accused of raping another student in school put under house arrest

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Posted at 5:54 PM, Jun 04, 2012
and last updated 2012-06-04 19:56:58-04

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Portsmouth, Va. - A Portsmouth teen accused of raping another student in a stairwell while a security camera watched appeared before a judge for the first time on Monday.

The boy will be under house arrest, monitored by GPS, until his trial on July 20th.

Meanwhile, NewsChannel 3 continued to try and get answers from the Portsmouth City Schools superintendent about how the sexual assault happened, live on school cameras, without any administrators at Churchland High seeing it.

So we went to their headquarters downtown yet again, and this time we were able to talk in person to Maureen Mizelle, the school public information officer.

But even she couldn’t comment, pointing us instead to the superintendent himself.

“I called Dr. Stuckwisch’s office and he is not in. He is handling any comment,” said Mizelle.

What she could tell us, though - there was indeed an alert sent out to parents of Churchland High School students about the rape. The phone message went out about 5:30 pm on Thursday.

That is more than 24 hours after the rape, five hours after the boy was arrested, and two hours after the media broke the news from police.

In it, there is no specific mention of the rape - the school's principal, Dr. Susan Bechtol, only said there was "an isolated incident on Wednesday involving 3 students who have been identified and the perpetrators dealt with appropriately."

It was the first time NewsChannel 3 heard of a third student involved in the rape. Portsmouth police tell us they are still investigating to determine what, if any, involvement that other student had in the attack.

When we heard back from the superintendent ‘s office, we were told he would not meet with us to talk on camera—that we would have to submit questions and he would give us a response within 24 hours.

So we went to the school board members - those elected by the citizens to make sure the schools follow proper procedure and stay safe for all students.

But even after school officials missed a televised rape caught on school cameras, no one wanted to comment on camera without the school district's OK.

“I’ll just wait for them to comment,” said Dr. Mark Whittaker, a school board member.

“I don’t know anything about the camera situation,” said Edward “Ned” McCabe, another school board member.

We even got hung up on by Dr. Elizabeth Daniels, another school board member, when we tried calling her.

The only board member that spoke to us over the phone was Claude Parent. He worked in the Portsmouth City Schools for 39 years as a teacher and principal before being elected.

“You want your administrators out in the hallway during class change, but there also needs to be somebody - and this is one of my questions - someone else needs to be watching the cameras,” said Parent.