Freshman suspected in Germantown High School rape remains in custody

A Germantown High School student will remain in police custody overnight following his arrest Tuesday in connection to an alleged rape incident that unfolded inside the school late last week.

According to police, the sexual assault, involving two teenage freshmen, occurred at the bottom of a basement stairwell last Friday at around 7:45 a.m., shortly after first period began.

Police said the suspect and the victim, a female student, had been casually talking at the top of the same stairwell. The offender then jumped down to the bottom of the steps. After the female followed him, the male allegedly raped her, investigators stated.

The victim was eventually able to break free following a struggle with the offender, whom she reportedly had known for about two weeks prior to the incident.

She then returned to her first class, but soon had an emotional breakdown and told a female teacher about the incident. School District and Philadelphia police were then notified.

SVU press conference

An “aggressive” investigation at the school quickly followed, police Special Victims Unit Capt. John Darby said at a Tuesday afternoon press conference.

“The crime scene was processed. We did recover evidence there,”  Darby said at SVU headquarters on East Lehigh Avenue.

By the end of Friday morning, investigators had enough probable cause to make an arrest, said Darby.

“What we had was very compelling, to the point where there wasn’t much hesitation,” said Darby. “It’s an unfortunate incident.”

After talking to investigators, the suspect, joined by his family, turned himself in Tuesday morning.

The suspect is being charged with a total of nine counts including rape, aggravated assault, unlawful restraint, sexual assault, false imprisonment, indecent exposure, indecent assault, simple assault and recklessly endangering another person.

A hearing will be held Wednesday to determine whether he will be released from custody during the investigation, said Darby. A preliminary hearing will be held within the next 10 days.

Fernando Gallard, a spokesperson with the School District, said the student will not return to school during the investigation.

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