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Two more plead guilty in girl’s assault last fall

The Associated Press
Thursday March 22, 2001



Two more Berkeley middle school students have pleaded guilty to charges they sexually assaulted a 12-year-old female classmate last fall. 

The 11- and 12-year-old Willard Middle School boys joined 13-year-old Monday in admitting they assaulted the girl both on and off campus on Oct. 25. 

The boys will be sentenced in April. 

A 13-year-old Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School student and four other boys who allegedly assaulted the same girl in November, are now awaiting trial. 

The boys’ parents have said their sons engaged in consensual sex with the girl. Police, however, called the assault a gang rape. Still, no rape or kidnap charges were filed against any of the boys. 

Initial reports on the rape may have been exaggerated, said Jon Thurston, Alameda County deputy district attorney. 

“Police made it sound like this girl was dragged around from pillar to post and raped. But that didn’t happen. The initial reports just weren’t true,” Thurston told the San Jose Mercury News. 

Still, it’s illegal to have sex with anyone under age 18. State laws say children under 14 are not capable of giving consent.