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Grade school boys accused of sexual assault

By Matt Sepic, KWMU

St. Louis, MO. – Authorities in St. Louis are investigating the possible sexual assault of an eight-year-old girl by a group of boys at her school.

The alleged reportedly happened during recess Friday at Columbia Accelerated Community Educational Center, a school with 400 students in pre-kindergarten through sixth grade on the city's north side.

The girl has been reported to be in good condition physically, but will not return to school for the rest of the year. "We don't know what type of emotional scars it will have on the young lady," Superintendent Creg Williams said Monday.

St. Louis Public Schools spokesman Tony Sanders says twelve boys between the ages of 6 and 8 have been suspended for the rest of the year.

"The superintendent has been in contact with the family of the young girl," Sanders said. "Our thoughts go out to her and the family. And this is not something that should occur in any St. Louis public school or any school in the country."

Sanders also says a teacher supervising the students has been fired and another suspended.

Superintendent Creg Williams did not find out about the alleged incident until Monday. But Sanders says officials at the elementary school contacted authorities Friday.

Ten of the boys were suspended for the rest of the school year, and the other two received five-day, in-school suspensions. No names were released.

During the recess shortly after lunch, a student saw several boys huddled around the girl who was on the ground, and alerted a teacher. Police turned the investigation over to juvenile authorities. A court official said the boys could face misdemeanor counts of sexual misconduct and assault.