TN student allegedly sexually assaulted at Space Camp - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

TN student allegedly sexually assaulted at Space Camp

(Source: WAFF file) (Source: WAFF file)

Officials say there was an alleged sexual assault at during an overnight stay at Space Camp this week.

Officials say sixth grade students from Whitwell, Tennessee were there for an overnight field trip when some horseplay went too far. Marion County School Superintendent Mark Griffith said "tickling" led to contact under a student's pants. Neither of the students involved were physically injured.

Griffith said the accused student was expelled and removed from Space Camp.

"This is extremely serious. Situations like this won't be tolerated by the Marion County school system," said Griffith.

Huntsville police Lt. Stacy Bates said officers were called Thursday morning for a report that a "boy touched another boy on his privates inside the dorm room area."

Bates said the alleged victim is 11 years old and the alleged suspect is 13. He said those were the only two involved.

According to our NBC news affiliate WRCBtv, the suspect was expelled from school.

“The Space Camp provides a chaperone there. Our folks are there for the day activities, they don't stay in the dorms," Griffith said. "The Space Camp folks provide chaperone there."

Griffith said the authorities and school administrators were notified immediately. The parents of the student accused in the assault were called to pick him up.

“He is now back here, his parents went down and picked him up and brought him back," Griffith said.

School counselors were reportedly sent to Huntsville to be there for the victim. His parents chose for him to stay at the camp and receive that support. Griffith plans to travel to Alabama to work with investigators and take a hard look at field trip rules.

The U.S. Space and Rocket Center released the following statement:

We followed that protocol Wednesday evening regarding a student on a school trip. When informed of alleged inappropriate conduct by that student, Space Camp management immediately followed protocol that included notifying the chaperones in charge of the school group. The alleged behavior was isolated to this school group, and it is being handled as an internal situation within the school system.

Huntsville police, Child Protective Services and the Department of Human Resources are all investigating the case.

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