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Police investigation into sexual assault allegations involving Dimond High students sent to state prosecutors

  • Author: Tegan Hanlon
  • Updated: September 12, 2018
  • Published September 12, 2018

Anchorage police said Wednesday they had completed their investigation into sexual assault allegations involving Dimond High School students.

Police had made no arrests, and sent the case to state prosecutors at the Office of Special Prosecutions, said MJ Thim, Anchorage Police Department spokesman. Prosecutors will make a decision on any charges, he said.

The Office of Special Prosecutions is under the Alaska Department of Law. Police sent the case to the office because it involved two jurisdictions — the alleged incident happened in Fairbanks, but it involves Anchorage students, Thim said.

Wednesday's statement from police was the first time authorities have publicly described the Dimond High allegations as involving sexual assault.

Officials have said the reported incident happened during the Dimond High football team's trip to Fairbanks for an away game against Lathrop High School on Aug. 18. The Dimond team stayed at the high school overnight, according to the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District.

Anchorage School District Superintendent Deena Bishop has described the reported misconduct as "serious inappropriate behavior," and declined to go into detail, citing the police investigation and a federal student privacy law.

Thim said he could not discuss what police found in their investigation because the case involves juveniles. He said he also couldn't say how many students it involved or whether they were on the football team.

In a statement Wednesday, Bishop said the school district had cooperated with police. As a result of the district's own investigation, three Dimond High football coaches, including the head coach, were fired and students were disciplined, she said.

Bishop has declined to say how many students were disciplined and how they were disciplined, including whether they were expelled. She said the students were no longer on the football team.

Bishop had also suspended the Dimond High football team for just over a week last month. She lifted the suspension on Aug. 31.

Safety is the district's top priority, Bishop said in Wednesday's statement.

"We look forward to a safe school year and are glad that our student athletes at Dimond High School are back on the football field doing what they love," she said.