Tampa police say a 16-year-old high school student was sexually assaulted in a restroom at her school.
It happened at Chamberlain High School in Tampa On Monday, police said.
According to the Tampa Police Department, the student was out of class with a pass to go to her locker. On the way, a fellow student met her in the hallway, and then began following her.
Police say the 16-year-old boy forced her into a boy's bathroom and raped her. The suspect then went back to class and the victim reported the rape to a school resource officer, police said.
Investigators said the suspect initially denied any involvement, then changed his story. They say his versions of what happened were inconsistent with the physical evidence from the victim's medical exam.
Police said the school sent a phone message to parents about the incident.
Students were dismayed.
"I think it's disgusting. I don't think that somebody my age should be scared to go to school. I think you should be able to go to your high school and not have any fear," said senior Anna Campbell.
"I got goosebumps when they were telling us. Everyone was silent. Everyone was just like, I don't even know what to say about that," said senior Courtney Gaul.
Investigators say it happened Monday morning when the girl was out of her classroom with a hall pass.
"The suspect approached her at her locker and then began following her down the hallway as if he was stalking her," said Laura MacElroy, with the Tampa Police Department.
That suspect is another 16 year old student at Chamberlain. Police say he grabbed her near the gym and pushed her into the boy's bathroom and raped her.
"Both of the versions he gave the detective are just not consistent with the physical evidence that was gathered during the medical exam that shows this young girl was a victim of forced sex." MacElroy said.
"This is a concern for students. It's a concern for parents. And certainly it's a concern to us. It's very disappointing," said Steve Hegarty, spokesman for Hillsborough County Schools.
School officials sent out recorded phone messages to parents, telling them about the attack.
They say it's too early to know if any policies or procedures need to be changed, but they want to make sure nothing like this ever happens again.
And so do students.
"You don't ever think that is going to happen to you. You never think you're going to go to school and someone's going to jump out of a stall in the bathroom," Courtney Gaul said.
School officials say the suspect won't be returning to Chamberlain High. FOX 13 is not naming him because of his age.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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