Students accused of rape in weight room

BROADVIEW HEIGHTS, Ohio (AP) - Three male students have been accused of raping another male student in a high school weight room.
"It was a locker room incident among boys," city Prosecutor Kevin Weiler said. "It was not your traditional rape. But there's sufficient evidence to meet the qualifications of the statute."
Weiler said one of the accused teens penetrated the 16-year-old victim at Brecksville-Broadview Heights High School last month.
Patrick Pristas, 18, a senior at the school, was charged as an adult. Two 17-year-olds, whose names were withheld, were charged as juveniles.
Pristas' lawyer, John Reulbach, said the rape charge is unwarranted.
Reulbach said "goosing" better described what happened. He said it was his understanding that no clothing was removed, there was no penetration and several other students were in the room.
"It was inappropriate horsing around, but certainly not a rape," he said.
School officials reported the case to police last week.
"This particular behavior is not in the character of our school," Superintendent Steve Farnsworth said. "We don't tolerate that kind of misbehavior nor will we."
Weiler said the juveniles appeared in Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court. Pristas is scheduled to appear in Parma Municipal Court on July 7.
"It was probably a prank that got way out of hand," police Chief Robert Lipton said. "It's unfortunate. I feel bad for everybody involved here."
(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)