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Proctor High School football player charged with sexual assault in fall

DULUTH — A Proctor High School student is facing a sexual assault charge for allegedly using a plunger to sexually penetrate a football teammate in early September. It was an attack that engulfed the tight-knit community and led to the longtime football manager’s resignation.

A 17-year-old boy was charged in juvenile court Friday with third-degree criminal sexual behavior, according to the St. Louis County District Attorney’s Office. The Star Tribune generally does not name minors accused of crimes. Prosecutors are asking that the case be sent to adult court.

According to the petition, the suspect, with the help of others, restrained the victim and removed his pants outside the football locker room. He allegedly used the handle of a toilet plunger to penetrate the victim, who continued to be held down by others.

The investigation, opened in mid-September following a complaint of “student misconduct” within the football team, led to the resignation of coach Derek Parendo and the cancellation of the season of football.

Proctor Police completed their five-week investigation in late October, with a referral to the St. Louis County District Attorney’s office. Charges were filed this week, more than two months later. The county attorney’s office said it received some of the additional information it requested from police on Jan. 5.

“The investigation into this case has been unnecessarily complicated and delayed by the voluminous amount of social media speculation surrounding this incident, as investigators have been forced to devote their limited resources to responding to social media rumours,” said County Attorney Kim Maki in a press release.

No charges are currently being filed against any other individuals, but the investigation remains open, according to the statement.

Details of the allegations were never released by the police department or Proctor school officials, citing privacy laws and the involvement of minors, but rumors of what might have happened were widespread. on social networks.

Last fall, supporters carrying signs advocating child protection rallied outside the high school as some parents and community members demanded answers, wondering if their children were safe in Proctor schools and wondering which led to the alleged misconduct, which was described as “serious”. by school officials.

Others asked that the entire football team, and the city, not be judged by the actions of a few. Meanwhile, students continued their homecoming activities and rallied around the successes of other varsity sports during the fall months. Some said they struggled with the allegations and the scrutiny that surfaced with the high-profile news.

At the time, Proctor Schools Superintendent John Engelking said the district would “take action against founded misconduct” and address any issues with the football program.

If found guilty, the standard sentence for this crime would be between 3 and nearly 5 years in prison if the suspect is convicted as an adult and has no criminal history.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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