Fresno Police investigate suspected battery incident in Clovis West High School locker room

KSEE24 News

FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE) – Fresno Police are investigating an alleged incident involving a male student in the locker room at Clovis West High School on September 20th.

The Fresno Police Department is investigating the incident because the school is in Fresno city limits, not Clovis.

Investigators said the incident from two weeks ago is being documented as a misdemeanor battery and no arrests have been made.

The department said they were made aware of the alleged altercation on September 23rd.

Clovis Unified would not go on camera but sent a statement reading:

“Clovis West High School administration learned a week ago last Thursday of a possible altercation that occurred earlier in that week among male students in a locker room.  We treat any such reports with extreme seriousness, and immediately launched an investigation that included site administration, Clovis Unified officers and Fresno Police Department. This investigation (which I’ve been told has been completed) did not result in anyone being arrested or charges of sexual assault, as has been rumored. Any appropriate school discipline resulting from the school and police investigation has been pursued, but because of state confidentiality laws I will not share any identifiable information about students involved.”

The Fresno Police Department sent a statement reading:

“On Thursday, September 23, 2021, detectives from the Fresno Police Department were made aware of an incident that took place on the campus of Clovis West High School on Monday, September 20, 2021.  Although reports of incidents/crimes are typically handled by Clovis Unified School District Police, Fresno Police Department detectives responded to assist.  Detectives met and interviewed a victim.  Based upon the victim’s statement, and witness statements, the incident is being documented as a misdemeanor battery only.  No arrests have been made at this time.  An additional investigation is being conducted by the Fresno Police Department to determine if any other similar incidents have recently occurred.”

The Clovis Unified School District would not get into specifics of discipline the suspects could face but a spokesperson said that if the allegations are found to be true, the consequences would be expulsion under the district’s zero-tolerance policy.

Legal Analyst Charles Magill covered a similar case from 2011 that involved a Buchanan High School student who was expelled for allegedly touching his teammate inappropriately as a part of a wrestling move. The student did face sexual battery charges that were later dropped.

Magill said the only difference between sexual battery and battery is the location of where the person was touched.

“A harmful or offensive touching could be anywhere on your body but an area in a sexual area,” said Magil. “If that harmful or offensive touching occurs on a sexual area, that becomes a sexual battery. That is all it takes, is where that touching occurs.”

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