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Teens charged in rape at game

A 15-year-old girl was pulled into a field and raped by three teenage boys during a high school football game a week ago, authorities say.

Two 15-year-old boys were arrested Friday and a warrant has been issued for the third boy, 16.

The victim and the boys were students of Temple Heights Christian School and knew each other, said Hillsborough County sheriff's spokesman Jack Espinosa.

Officials said the boys took turns holding the girl down as each assaulted her in a grassy area at Tampa Bay Tech, a public school on Orient Road where Temple Heights plays most of its home games. The assault occurred during Temple Heights' homecoming game against Northside Christian.

Only hours after the arrests Friday, Temple Heights played Shorecrest Preparatory School in St. Petersburg.

At the game, Temple Heights administrators declined comment, saying they were "watching an important game" between two undefeated teams.

The Rev. Alan Cockrell, pastor of Temple Heights Baptist Church and president of the school, would not elaborate on the charges.

"We're still in the dark ourselves," Cockrell said. "That's why we can't really say anything."

He would not say whether the students have been reprimanded or expelled. "We have done what we thought was necessary," he said.

"Basically, we deplore any activity that reflects on immorality."

Some parents said they knew very little about what happened during the homecoming game a week ago, and they were surprised to hear the students had been arrested.

Arrested Friday in the alleged rape were William Jenkins, 15, of 8718 N Whittier St., and Ricky Rios, 15, of 10013 N Myrtle St. Both are freshmen at the school.

The Sheriff's Office did not release information about the incident until the arrests were made Friday. Authorities still were looking for the third boy late Friday.

"We know who it is," Espinosa said. "He was supposed to turn himself in, but he hasn't."

The principal of Tampa Bay Tech, Kenneth Otero, said no one at his school had been interviewed about the rape.

Temple Heights often rents the Tampa Bay Tech field, but the private school is responsible for providing its own security.

Otero did not know what security measures had been taken by Temple Heights. "They pay their own off-duty police officers," he said. "All we do is provide the football field.

"I really want to stress that it was not my kids," Otero said. "It's not my kids. It's none of my people."

At Temple Heights' game Friday night, students said they had heard plenty of rumors since the assault, although the school's administrator only told them that "something unfortunate has happened."

"They were all good kids," said senior Kelly McLevain. "It's pretty much shocked the whole student body."