Two juveniles face battery charges in Great Bend school bus incident

ELLSWORTH, Kansas – Two Great Bend High School students are facing battery charges in connection with an incident that occurred on a Great Bend School District bus on February 6, 2016.

According to a news release from Ellsworth County Attorney Joe Shepack, the two allegedly battered a 14-year-old Great Bend High School student athlete during a trip home to Great Bend, from a swim meet in Riley County.

Shepack said after reading the 175-page case file, he concluded the conduct by the two alleged suspects met the legal definition of battery under Kansas statutes. He said while it is not clear what county the battery incidents occurred in, that does not preclude their being prosecuted in Ellsworth County.

“Some rumors, bandied about on social media, state/suggest that younger boys were raped and/or sodomized on the Great Bend school bus on February 6, 2016,” Shepack said in the news release. “Said bus contained twenty-five persons, both male and female.”

Shepack said he concluded it was logical to assume others on the bus should have intervened during the incident.

“Reasonable people would think that if such events were occurring, then the adults and/or older teenagers on the bus would have intervened,” said Shepack.

Rather than arrest warrants being issued for the two youths, they will be allowed to turn themselves in at the Ellsworth County Court House accompanied by their attorneys.

While Shepack did not disclose the ages of the two suspects, he said once they surrender to authorities, if they are over 14 years old, he will release their names. However, KSN will not identify them since they are both juveniles.

Back in March, KSN reported on the suggested charges by the Ellsworth County Sheriff.

The sheriff recommended five suspects be charged with battery and three with criminal restraint.

The sheriff also said authorities found four victims through their investigation.

But, again today, the Ellsworth County attorney announced only one victim and two suspects in the case.

KSN also reached out to the Ellsworth County sheriff but he didn’t want to comment, saying that it is always his job to present potential charges, but the county attorney has the final say.


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