A prosecutor says a third sexual assault happened in Berkeley’s middle schools during a two-week period.
Deputy District Attorney Walter Jackson told an Alameda County juvenile court judge Friday that two girls were assaulted at Martin Luther King Middle School on Nov. 8 — not one as had been previously reported.
The second Nov. 8 incident followed an Oct. 25 group assault at Willard Middle School.
Jackson said that on Nov. 8, three boys were harassing the two 12-year-old girls on King’s track and pursued them when they ran to a secluded area on the campus. The boys allegedly tried to force one of the girls to perform oral sex. She escaped with her friend, Berkeley police Lt. Russell Lopes said.
About a half hour later, a fourth boy convinced the girl’s friend to return to the area, where Jackson said the boy tried to have sex with the girl.
The girl in the second assault of Nov. 8 transferred to King from Willard Middle School, where on Oct. 25 nine boys allegedly forced her to perform oral sex for several hours.
Jackson’s announcement Friday brings to 13 the number of boys accused in the alleged sexual assaults.
Of the nine boys accused of assaulting the former Willard girl, eight have been arrested and released. Police are still searching for a 15-year-old suspect.
The three boys in the first King incident were arrested Nov. 16. The boy in the second King incident was arrested Nov. 9 on charges of illegal sex with a minor and lewd acts with a child under 14.
Jackson said it is important to consolidate the boys’ trial so that the former Willard girl does not have to testify multiple times. A pretrial conference for all 12 of the arrested suspects is scheduled for Jan. 2.
School officials have said that confidentiality requirements restricted them from commenting on the assaults and that the assaults were not a threat to public safety, though parents have been concerned that schools have not been open about the incidents.