The Queen Anne's County Sheriff's Department is continuing an investigation into an April 13 incident at Kent Island High School, according to a statement released Friday.
A sexual assault investigation began after video was shared showing a potential hazing incident involving the Kent Island High School junior varsity boys' lacrosse team, in which a player was held down as another player rubbed his bare buttocks and genitals on the subdued player.
Late Friday the department released the following statement confirming the continuation of the investigation:
“The Office of the Sheriff for Queen Anne’s County was contacted by a citizen on Sunday, April 15, 2018 regarding a video of a student being assaulted at the Kent Island High School on Friday April 13, 2018 by other students who attend the School. The criminal investigation began immediately upon us receiving the video and is ongoing by my Office’s Criminal Investigation section and the School Resource Unit. Upon completion of the investigation after all parties to the incident have been identified as well as their role, the case findings will be presented to our State’s Attorney regarding juvenile and/or criminal charges. Much of this case will remain confidential as it involves juveniles and school proceedings.
I took an oath to serve and protect this community fairly and equally for those who are victims and from those accused of criminal acts in the great County where we live. I have, and will continue to always be “on duty” 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The safety of our community is a priority to me, and I will often leave my family behind any time to work side by side with the men and woman of this office and allied departments who also uphold an oath to serve and protect. I work for this community, and understand that I am to always to be fair, impartial and assure my office provides our justice system with an honest, thorough and unbiased investigation no matter the case.
Each and every incident that our agency investigates is deserving of our full attention to detail. Every assigned case is prepared and investigated with supervisory oversight in a methodical manner to bring to light all facts to support elements of crimes. We have an obligation to the citizens of our County to ensure every victim, witness, person of interest and suspect are treated fairly in accordance with the law. To rush a case investigation would be an injustice to those accused and to those who are victims of crimes.
There is a historical process in the criminal justice system to protect both the victim, and the accused. Law enforcement, when notified to assume a case, does so in a manner which includes frequent consultation with the States Attorney’s Office for presentation of charges to our Court System. Police officers are not the Judge and Jury, as some people may think. Matters of juvenile crimes in many cases will be presented to the Juvenile Justice branch, where the disposition of the case is decided.
Many times a complex investigation includes interviews of multiple witnesses, persons of interest, suspects and collection of evidence The time required to be thorough with this process may at times give onlookers with little knowledge of the criminal justice system the impression that no action is being taken. There can be nothing further from the truth.
I can assure you that the safety of our communities, particularly the safety of our students, staff and visitors of our schools remains paramount to me. We believe in the “See Something, Say Something” movement throughout our County, State and Country and promise to follow up on tips of suspicion just as we immediately did with this incident at the KIHS when we learned of the incident."