Local News

Police Investigate Alleged Sexual Assault At Raleigh High School

Posted November 25, 2003 11:01 a.m. EST

— School is supposed to be a safe place for children. But one student thinks Leesville Road High School is anything but safe for her.

Police arrested Samuel Higdon, 17, a Leesville Road student, early Tuesday on a charge of second-degree forcible rape.

Court documents state that Higdon lured a 14-year-old acquaintance into the boys' locker room at the end of the school day and allegedly raped her.

The girl also is a student at Leesville Road.

Higdon was being held in the Wake County Jail on a secured $75,000 bond Tuesday. If he is released, he will be placed under house arrest and will not be allowed to have any contact with the alleged victim.

Higdon's father, Samuel, is a 13-year-employee of the Department of Correction. He runs the Hammond Road detention facility for Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison.

Do you generally consider your child safe at school? Yes No Never really thought about it

"He's a good administrator," Harrison said, "a good employee. He's got my support."

Harrison said Tuesday that the younger Higdon was not getting any special treatment during his arrest or detention.

Rape is a rare accusation on North Carolina school grounds. Last school year, a total of three cases were reported. The year before that, there were just two.

In the past 10 years, 29 rapes have been reported in all of North Carolina's public schools.

The last rape reported inside a Wake County school prior to Tuesday was in 1996-97, at Wake Forest Rolesville High. But the accused student never was indicted.

Police were handling this case with extra sensitivity.

"It's very sensitive," said Raleigh police Sgt. Stacy Deans. "We're talking about sexual assault, assault of a juvenile. It's a touchy subject."

Said Harrison: "When you have kids, you do your best. But you can't control everything they do."

Harrison attended Higdon's first appearance in court.