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HERCULES (CBS SF) – Authorities in Hercules are investigating the sexual assault of a transgender student in a restroom at Hercules Middle/High School on Monday.
Police said shortly after 11:00 a.m., school resource officers were called to the student health center for a possible assault.
The 15-year-old victim, who was born as a girl and identifies as a boy, told authorities he went into the boy’s restroom in the 300 building on the high school side of the campus. As he was leaving the bathroom, the victim was confronted by three unidentified male juveniles.
“Forced into the handicap stall and physically and sexually assaulted,” Reserve Detective Connie Van Putten of the Hercules Police Department told KPIX 5 Monday evening.
Detectives said they interviewed the victim and questioned other students on campus. Authorities have described the suspects as three males, 16 to 17 years of age.
“Many times, victims, cannot, at least initially, identify their attackers in this type of an event,” Van Putten said.
The victim’s parents were notified and the victim was transported to a local hospital. As of Monday night, he is in stable condition and is expected to recover.
Officials said the school does not have security cameras. “This probably would not have happened at DeAnza high school because we have 120 cameras on campus there,” said West Contra Costa School Board President Charles Ramsey.
Hercules police said no suspects have been identified at this time and the incident is being investigated as both a sexual assault and a hate crime.
Ramsey said the suspects should consider themselves on notice. “You will be expelled, you will be punished and we will ask that you are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. You can’t assault students on campus, no matter who they are,” he said.
Police said there will be a greater security presence on campus on Tuesday.
Hercules High School is the same campus where 16-year-old transgender student Jewlyes Gutierrez got into a fight last November with three girls, who she said were bullying and taunting her. Battery charges against Gutierrez are expected to be dropped when she completes a conflict resolution program.
According to the Contra Costa Times, 94 percent of the teachers at the high school have supported a vote of no-confidence in the principal, saying she has created a toxic environment.
Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call the Hercules Police Department at (510) 724-1111.