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The victim and one of those arrested are students at Lakewood High.
Published Aug. 7, 2007

Two women, including a fellow schoolmate, sexually assaulted a 17-year-old Lakewood High School student at a alcohol-fueled party last week, police said.

The attack took place Thursday night during a party thrown by LaShae Bynum, 18, a Lakewood High student whose father was out of town, police said.

Bynum got the 17-year-old girl drunk and then assaulted her while another girl at the party held the victim down, according to police and arrest reports.

A bystander interrupted the assault, according to an arrest affidavit.

On Friday, police arrested Bynum on charges of sexual battery and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Tawana Harris, 19, who is accused of restraining the victim, was arrested on a charge of being a principal to first-degree sexual battery. Harris is a student at St. Petersburg College.

Police spokesman Bill Proffitt said both Bynum and the 17-year-old victim are Lakewood High students.

Several other girls were at the party, police said. The victim and others at the party knew Bynum and Harris, police said.

"A lot of alcohol was being used at the party," Proffitt said.

The police did not identify the victim.

The school district said the incident was a police matter.

A woman who answered the door at Harris' address in Lakewood Estates said she did not live there. A woman who answered the phone at her home said she did not live there and to stop calling.

No one answered the door at Bynum's home at the Reserve at Lake Pointe, a 96-acre, gated apartment community on several lakes down the street from Lakewood High School.

Bynum's father, who declined to give his full name, said via telephone that he wanted to speak to his lawyer before talking about his daughter.

Times researcher Angie Drobnic Holan and reporters Thomas C. Tobin and Bob Putnam contributed to this report. Abhi Raghunathan can be reached at or (727) 893-8472.