Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Is It a Crime or Is It Foreplay?

New Info In Parker Student Rape Case

We have new information on the rape charges against a former Parker High School student. Seventeen-year-old Jerome Hunt faces 21 counts of rape and attempted rape. Each count carries up to 25 years in prison.

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But Hunt's lawyer Mike Butler claims the complaints came from fellow Parker wrestlers who were simply victims of a legitimate wrestling move.

Butler just filed a motion to move the case to juvenile court. On that court document, he lays out a lot of information presented to the grand jury before they indicted Hunt on the rape charges.

Former state champion wrestler Jerome Hunt's lawyer says all but two of the incidents reported happened in the Parker High School wrestling room before practice during last year's wrestling season.

Hunt told investigators the accusations probably come from a wrestling move called a "butt drag" or "skinning," which involves the wrestler placing pressure on the area of the rectum.

Hunt's former assistant coach told investigators, "It's not something illegal or not taught. It's being taught all over."

One accuser even testified to the grand jury, "I didn't take it as a sexual move. I took it as him just messing around."

But the criminal complaint states that Hunt "accomplished an act of sexual penetration." That implies penetration, even if it happened with Hunt's fingers through the other boys' wrestling uniforms, could be considered rape.

Hunt denies penetration. His lawyer writes that the claims against Hunt are "grossly distorted and exaggerated." And he thinks the matter should be handled in juvenile court.

The two instances that didn't happen in the wrestling room allegedly happened on the bus ride home from a match.

Hunt will be in Turner County court December 22nd, where a judge will decide whether the case stays in adult court.

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