Student Charged With Sex Crimes Against Students

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TOBYHANNA TOWNSHIP -- A child is accused of committing crimes against other children and some on school property.

Police in Monroe County charged a 17 year old for allegedly carrying out sexual assaults on other teenagers.

What may be even more disturbing is that authorities say some of the attacks happened in school.

Police say the 17-year-old Pocono Mountain West High School student was arrested Friday night.

According to police, the student tried raping four teenagers from June 2011 to May of this year.

Two of those crimes police say happened in school.

In a letter to students and parents, school officials explained the 17 year old was a student at the high school.

"I think it's absolutely disgusting. There's no room for that in society," said Colby Larsen of Pocono Manor.

School officials say it all started when a student reported, what they are calling, "an alleged incident of a sexual nature" to administrators.

Then, school officials went to police.

Police investigated and found from June 2011 and last month a 17 year old tried raping four females, ages 14 to 19.

"It's unfortunate that the 17 year old now has to be faced with such an adult crime," said Teresa Lavarbera.

"It's perfectly normal for men to pursue women, but to go above and beyond what's legal and obviously moral, it's absolutely disgusting. As a man, I would never want to meet this guy," said Larsen.

Police say two of the rape attempts happened somewhere in the county. The other two attempts happened inside the school.

In a statement, school officials say:

"Pocono Mountain School District has many safeguards in place to protect our students while they are in school.

"In light of what occurred, we are reviewing our safety procedures we have in place. We are not providing details on what safeguards, if any, will be changed."

We made several attempts to ask the police chief several questions:

Why did the investigation take two years?

Why are we learning about this now when the crimes started in 2011?

And how is the Pocono Mountain Regional Police Department working with the school district to make sure students are safe?

The police chief tells Newswatch 16, the incidents involving the student in Monroe County were just reported to his department in the last two weeks.