Father of victim in Sahuarita High School attack says son is still a target

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Father of victim in Sahuarita High School attack says son is still a target

CREATED Jan 29, 2013

Reporter: Maggie Vespa

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - It is a thought that would make any parent's blood boil.

Picture this: your child, in the supposed safety of his own school, is brutally beaten, taunted and traumatized by a pack of his peers.

As if that isn't enough, days later, he is attacked all over again for how he handles the aftermath.

That is exactly the tale, one father told in Pima County juvenile court Tuesday.

The events that unfolded January 15th, inside the cement walls of Sahuarita High, led to a "very stressful" and "traumatic" couple of weeks for the family of the teenage victim.

He’s the boy police say was brutally attacked inside the locker room, by nine members of the school's wrestling team.

Police reports released to 9OYS Tuesday describe how the victim "...was struggling to get away and kicking at the various individuals that were holding him down. He stated most, if not all, of these subjects were laughing."

Witnesses added the team was "...known to mess with underclassmen...it is best to leave if they enter."

And that, says the victim's father, whose name we are not releasing, may be the big picture problem here.

Tuesday afternoon, at a closed hearing for the youngest of the accused, just 14, that father represented his son.

In a statement, he described how these types of attacks "...have been going on for quite some time at the high school."

He then motioned to the mother of the 14 year-old defendant, who was in the courtroom, and described how she had criticized his son, the victim, for drawing attention to the incident.

He said "attacking my son was the wrong thing to do.”  He added, “It would have been nice if she had just accepted what her son had done."

Following that statement, the judge released the 14 year-old into the care of his parents.

He is ordered to have no contact with the victim but will be allowed to return to school, if the district permits.

Our calls to the district office went unanswered.

Attorneys and family members from both sides of this case, declined to go on camera.

One of the two counts against that 14 year-old has now been changed.

He now faces a false imprisonment charge, instead of kidnapping.

The second count of aggravated assault remains the same.

Both are class 6 felonies.

The accused boy’s mother did not address the accusations against her directly, but she did make some odd requests.

She asked the judge if her son could attend a state wrestling meet to cheer on his friends.  She also requested he be able to go on a hunting trip with his dad.

Those questions came after she was told his probation would prohibit such activities.