TAMPA — One of four Walker Middle School students suspected of sexually assaulting a classmate in a school locker room needs money to prepare a defense, his attorney said Wednesday in court.
Diemante J. Roberts, 15, can't afford to hire experts or pay other expenses needed to defend against multiple counts of sexual battery, said Lanell Williams, who represents Roberts for free.
Hillsborough County Circuit Judge Wayne Timmerman said he's inclined to grant the request. But first, Williams must file paperwork with the Judicial Administration Commission, which would provide the money.
Roberts appeared in court Wednesday with his mother, Ebony Watts. Neither spoke.
Roberts and Lee Louis Myers, Raymond A. Price-Murray and Randall John Moye III, all 14, each face adult charges of four counts of sexual battery.
The juveniles each are free on $15,000 bond with a 7 p.m. curfew. All but Moye, who now lives in Lake County with his father, are electronically monitored.
Prosecutors accuse the teens of raping a 13-year-old flag football teammate multiple times with a broom handle and a hockey stick.
Other students have told investigators that they heard the boy scream, but no one reported it.
Kevin Graham can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (813) 226-3433.