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4 EXPELLED TEENS FACE SEX RAPS
New York Daily News, February 19, 2003

Four students expelled from a Catholic high school in Queens for allegedly forcing a classmate to have sex with them are expected to surrender to police today, sources told the Daily News.

The four, who attended Christ the King High School, will be charged with sexual misconduct - a misdemeanor - stemming from a Halloween incident involving a 15-year-old girl, according to a law enforcement source.

But an attorney for one of the boys called the charge "utter nonsense," insisting the sex was consensual. "There was no crime here," said lawyer Steven Gildin, who represents a 17-year-old football player. "The charges are completely fabricated. This is ludicrous."

Gildin said his client was traumatized by the thought of facing police and as much as a year behind bars. "He's certainly maintaining his innocence. He's a good kid, a model kid. Never even had detention," he added.

The youths were suspended from the Middle Village school in January after the girl told her story to a teacher. She said the attacks took place at the home of one of the boys.

Christ the King expelled the four boys this month. State Sen. Serphin Maltese (R-Queens), chairman of the school's board of trustees, declined to comment on the case yesterday.

The girl's attorney said she was pleased that prosecutors were finally taking action. "My client did not consent to the acts that were perpetrated upon her," said the lawyer, Madeline Bryer. "She's prepared to testify. This type of conduct cannot go unpunished."

Bryer said the girl was trying to put her life back together. "She's coping as best she can," the lawyer said. "It's a horrific situation."

Consent may not even be an issue, according to a law enforcement source, who noted that a 15-year-old cannot legally give her consent to have sex.

Since leaving the school, the four boys have attended different public schools in Queens.

Gildin said his client was a college-bound senior with "excellent grades" and is now attending Van Buren High School in Queens Village. "These boys aren't thugs by any stretch of the imagination," he said. "Quite the contrary, they are scholar- athletes who have never been in trouble before and did nothing wrong in this instance either."

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