Police confirmed Tuesday that they are investigating an alleged sexual assault involving two students at Lisbon High School last month.

A female student has accused a male student of assaulting her in a school parking lot shortly after classes ended on April 25.

On Tuesday, more than 50 students walked out of school for two hours in the morning to show their support for the girl. Students who participated in the peaceful protest held signs and said that they do not believe the school administration is doing enough to keep them safe.

Police are aware of the alleged incident and are investigating it, said Lisbon Police Chief Marc Hagan in a telephone interview Tuesday night. Hagan said he couldn’t comment further while the investigation is continuing.

“All I can say is we have an ongoing investigation,” he said.

In the meantime, Superintendent Richard A. Green confirmed in an email that both students have the right to attend classes.

“Both students have a legal right to attend school,” Green said in a statement emailed to the Portland Press Herald, noting that he hadn’t spoken to either family or the students directly. He said the administration is “working on a plan that helps both students feel safe and supported as they prepare to finish these last few weeks of school.”

Green also said he wants to assure parents that the safety of the students who attend Lisbon High School is a top priority.

“Please be assured that student safety is our top priority and we have and will continue to work closely with the Lisbon Police Department throughout this active investigation,” Green said in the statement.

The alleged victim, who is 18 years old and gay, shared her story in a Facebook post Monday. The Press Herald does not identify victims of alleged sex crimes without their consent.

Her post had generated more than 800 comments as of Tuesday night and her story was shared by more than 1,700 followers.

“On Thursday, April 25 at school I was raped in my car in the student parking lot by a fellow student in my class,” the girl wrote, adding that her alleged attacker told her that he wanted to “turn me straight.”

“I kept screaming, but nobody was there to listen to me,” the girl told The Times Record newspaper. She told her girlfriend about the assault, who called the victim’s mother, who in turn contacted Lisbon police within a few hours after the alleged assault took place.

“I want justice for the nightmare that happened to me. I immediately got a rape kit done hoping that would be a good start and got the Lisbon Police Department involved,” she said. She was examined at Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston, The Times Record reported.

After contacting Lisbon police, she was granted a protection from abuse order against her alleged attacker. The girl’s mother told News Center Maine (WCSH/WLBZ) that the protection order does not apply during school hours.

The victim’s mother, who attended Monday’s demonstration, also told News Center Maine that the incident terrified her.

“I can tell you, it is a parent’s worst nightmare and I am absolutely sickened and heartbroken. And I know one day justice will be served,” the mother said.

Green said the school department learned about the alleged assault the day after it happened.

According to the victim, police determined that where her car was parked in the student lot was not covered by the surveillance cameras.

Green told The Times Record that new security cameras had just been installed at the high school, but that until he knows where the alleged incident happened, he won’t know where the blind spot is in the parking lot.

“We’re looking at it now,” Green said Tuesday.

The Times Record reported that the victim met Monday with the high school principal and assistant principal. She has not met with Green yet.

The students who walked out of class Tuesday stood across from the high school on Route 196 and held signs that read, “Make LHS safe” and “End rape culture.” The alleged victim and her mother were among the protesters.

“They’re just waiting for it to happen again to someone else to take it more seriously, and it’s just not fair. Nobody else should have to deal with it,” the girl told The Times Record.

In her Facebook post, the alleged victim criticizes the school for not making her and others feel safe.

“Lisbon High School has made it so I, along with others, can’t enjoy my senior prom, graduation, project grad, let alone school …” she said.

One of the protest organizers, senior Peyton Gosselin, said school administrators threatened them with suspension from school and from sports for leaving class.

“I think that they realize that to an extent they’re in the wrong and that something does need to happen,” Gosselin told The Times Record. “In order for the rest of us … to feel safe in that school again, that something needs to happen.”

Green in an email said that there were no disciplinary issues reported or addressed as a result of the protest.

Green encourages anyone with information about the alleged assault to contact him at 353-6711, extension 1005, or Lisbon police at 353-2500.

 

Times Record Staff Writer Darcie Moore contributed to this report.

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