Tyler Smith, a senior at Hoquiam High School in Washington, has been accused of raping two girls and is still attending school.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Detectives Say That in Both Cases Smith Was Told ‘No’ Multiple Times
Prosecutors of the case have said the first incident occurred in 2012 and the second alleged rape happened this past summer. According to KOMO TV, detectives who questioned Smith asked if either of the girls said “no”, he reportedly answered with, “Yeah, but I thought she was saying ‘no’ for pleasure and not to stop having sex.”
Smith has not consented to any interview requests.
2. The School Cannot Take Action Against Smith
Smith is still attending his senior year regularly and the school has said he is innocent until proven guilty.
The school’s Superintendent Mike Parker stated, “We felt that he’s innocent until proven guilty. As bad as the crime might be, as repulsive as the crime might be, we’re trusting that the court system will sort that out for us.”
Parker also told KOMO: “These alleged actions are in no way reflective of the outstanding students attending Hoquiam schools. First and most importantly, the district extends its support for the alleged victims who we understand are not students in the district. In consultation with legal counsel, the district will follow a legal path that we trust will lead to justice for all parties.”
3. Smith Chose on His Own to Quit the Football
Smith was not forced off of the Hoquiam football team and made the decision to leave on his own accord. His attorney Scott Campbell said, “He’s not going to play for the rest of the year. You show up at practice, there’s a news truck there. It’s something he and his family decided.”
Smith made this decision himself, despite school officials supporting his decision to continue playing defensive tackle for Hoquiam.
Superintendent Mike Parker said students are made to sign codes of conduct but they expire at the end of the school year.
4. If Convicted, Smith Could Face More Than 10 Years in Prison
If Smith is convicted on both counts of rape, he could face more than 10 years in prison and has been charged as an adult.
5. Parents of Students are Not Happy Smith Is Still In School
Parents of students at Hoquiam High School have expressed outrage allowing Smith to attend school regularly and play football.
A parent of a Hoquiam student, Kimberly Pineda states, “That’s not right, it scares me.”