NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A 16-year-old girl was raped Monday morning at her high school in Gramercy Park, police said.
The victim was accosted at around 8:20 a.m. at the Washington Irving Campus, which is now under construction near Union Square.
As CBS2’s Jessica Layton reported, a suspect has been arrested.
“Everybody is just kind of like freaked out this like actually happened,” said student Jay’von Downer.
Students who attend one of several New York City public schools on the Washington Irving campus were disgusted to hear that a fellow classmate – Jevon Martin, 18 – was charged with rape in the incident in the fourth-floor stairwell.
“Things happen in the stairwell in the building like a lot,” a student said. “So I wouldn’t think it would be rape.”
Police said the girl was lured by her classmate after he grabbed her backpack and ran behind the staircase. The criminal complaint alleged that he pushed her to the floor by her waist, pulled off her pants, and raped her.
Martin was arrested around 12:30 p.m. and was charged with rape. Bail for Martin was set at $10,000 at arraignment in Manhattan Criminal Court late Tuesday.
Martin’s family left court Tuesday night without comment, as did his public defender.
Parents picking up young children Tuesday who attend school on the same campus had plenty to say. They could not believe such a thing could happen in a place where every student should always feel safe.
“I hate to hear that — just the worst thing I could imagine,” one parent said.
“I’m worried and I didn’t receive notice,” another said.
The Department of Education said it reported this troubling incident to police immediately — and is now working closely with the NYPD during the investigation.