UNION PARISH, La. (KNOE) - Update: Thu 11:13 PM, Dec 28, 2017
Kenneth Dalton Thurston is defending his innocence. He says he did not rape a female classmate at Downsville Charter. The 19-year-old granted an interview to KNOE on Thursday after new information emerged on the circumstances surrounding the alleged rape. Follow this link to find out why Thurston says he is innocent.
Update: Thu 2:34 PM, Dec 28, 2017
Authorities say a 19-year-old accused of raping a girl at Downsville Charter School confessed when shown video evidence.
Journalist Johnny Gunter, who works alongside the Union Parish Sheriff's Office, sent us the following information:
"A 19-year-old Downsville Charter School student remained incarcerated Wednesday in the Union Parish Detention Center on a charge of third-degree rape.
Kenneth Dalton Thurston was charged in connection with the sexual assault on a 17-year-old female student inside the school’s library, Sheriff Dusty Gates said. He is being held on a $75,000 bond.
Investigators were called to the school Dec. 18 in reference to a sexual assault that occurred during the first-period class.
The victim told investigators that she was doing her school work when the suspect entered the library. It was learned that the victim had permission to be in the library, but that Thurston did not. There were no other students or teachers in the library at the time.
Investigators reported that the victim told them that Thurston lured her into an empty office by telling her that he had found her grades on a desk. When she went to look, the victim said the suspect grabbed her and refused to let her go.
Surveillance video shows that the victim, after being released and warned not to tell anyone, went directly to the office to report the incident.
Investigators said Thurston initially denied the accusations, but when presented with evidence that the accusations were true, he admitted that there was forced sex involved.
Before making bond, Thurston must agree not to have contact with the victim, be fitted with a GPS monitoring device and not return to school. The penalty if convicted of third-degree rape is imprisonment at hard labor without benefit of parole, probation or suspension of sentence for not more than 25 years."
Original Story: Wed 6:51 PM, Dec 20, 2017
A Downsville Charter School teen is accused of raping a student on campus.
The Union Parish sheriff says 19-year-old Kenneth Thurston was arrested Monday morning after a female student accused him of rape.
It allegedly happened in the school's library around 8 a.m.
Sheriff Dusty Gates says the 17-year-old victim was alone in the library when Thurston came in. That's when Gates says the two went into an empty office.
The school called the sheriff's office after the victim went to the school's office and reported the alleged incident.
Thurston was later arrested.
The school's principal says he can't comment on the matter due to student protective laws, but he says the school board is expected to review student safety policies regarding the alleged crime.