- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 20, 2014

FRANKFORT, Ind. (AP) - A former student at a central Indiana high school and a suspended student pleaded not guilty Tuesday to criminal charges alleging they bullied a third student in a locker room.

Austin Martin, 18, and Kyle Johnson, 19, each face six counts - three counts of criminal confinement and three of misdemeanor battery - in connection with incidents at Clinton Prairie High School involving a 15-year-old freshman.

The two were arrested Monday and bonded out of jail, The (Frankfort) Times reported. It was not clear whether either man has hired an attorney. Neither has a working, published telephone number in his name.

Indiana State Police Detective Steve Buckley said in a probable cause affidavit filed in Clinton Superior Court the bullying occurred April 23-25. Martin would hold the victim in a bear hug while Johnson assaulted the victim, Buckley said.

A state police spokesman said earlier this month the agency’s investigation involved potential incidents of “sexual battery,” but the charges and the affidavit did not allege any sexually related attacks.



Clinton Prairie Superintendent Chris Sampson said one of the two men charged has been expelled and the other has been suspended while he appeals his expulsion. Sampson declined to identify which man had been expelled. He also had no comment on the arrests.

In response to the incident, the school about 40 miles northwest of Indianapolis has increased adult supervision in locker rooms.

Sampson said bullying is a problem that has cropped up pretty much everywhere.

“I think everybody is keenly aware of the bullying situation that permeates our society,” he told the Lafayette Journal & Courier. “It permeates all levels of society.”

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