A student at Germantown High School was in police custody Tuesday after he allegedly raped a fellow student in the basement of the school early Friday morning.
Special Victims Unit Capt. John Darby said the students, two freshmen who'd known each other a few weeks, had been hanging out talking in a stairwell around 7:45 a.m. Friday when the boy ran down the stairs into a basement area, prompting the girl to follow.
"The initial contact on that particular day was conversational," Darby said. "They would meet and chat."When they were both downstairs, police said, the boy attacked and raped the girl.
She went to her next class after the violent attack, Darby said, but didn't make it through the class.
"She was able at some point to escape, get away from the individual, compose herself, and attempted to proceed to her first class of the day," Darby said. "But ultimately at some point during that first class, the victim basically broke down and disclosed [the attack] to a teacher."
The teacher alerted authorities, and Philadelphia Police launched an "aggressive investigation," Darby said. By the end of the day Friday, he said, cops submitted a probable cause affidavit to the District Attorney's Office for the arrest of the alleged perpetrator and had been in contact with the boy's family.
Accompanied by family members, he surrendered to police in the Special Victims Unit, on Lehigh Avenue near Front Street, on Tuesday morning and was taken into custody. He was still being processed later Tuesday, Darby said.
Police receive reports of rape in schools from time to time, Darby said, but he hasn't seen an incident this severe in a school.
"Nothing like this. This obviously got our attention immediately," Darby said. "The nature of sexual assault, in many incidents, is hesitation. ...That did not occur in this case."
Darby said police found "compelling evidence" at the scene, but did not specify what that evidence was, citing the ongoing investigation.
Authorities have not identified the suspect, but school district spokesman Fernando Gallard said both he and the victim were freshmen at the school.Gallard said he's unsure if Germantown High's principal has any outreach planned for the student body in the wake of the alleged attack, but that the school district is ensuring the victim has the proper services and support.
"It's an unfortunate incident, obviously, certainly for the victim," Darby said. "We had her here at the Philadelphia Sexual Assault Response Center, so she's had access to processional and to counselors."