, Newburyport, MA

February 20, 2013

Teen charged with sexual assault of disabled classmate

Alleged incident occurred during classes at Newburyport High

By Dave Rogers
Staff Writer

---- — NEWBURYPORT — A 17-year-old Newburyport High School student has been charged with sexually assaulting a disabled female student during classes and is expected to be arraigned sometime in the near future, according to local police.

Tyler Haynes of 236 Low St., No. 23, Newburyport, was issued a summons Friday by officer Dani Michalek charging him with three counts of indecent assault and battery on a person with intellectual disability and one count of open and gross lewdness. Haynes has yet to be arrested.

City Marshal Thomas Howard declined to comment on the charges as the case has yet to reach court, but said the alleged incident took place Dec. 19 inside the high school building on High Street while classes were in session. Hr said police were notified by the school a day after the alleged event.

“It’s extremely disturbing,” Howard said. “Given the fact the victim has a disability only heightens the fact.”

Howard said his department is looking for a timely arraignment at Newburyport District Court based on the seriousness of the charges.

Newburyport Schools Superintendent Dr. Marc Kerble could not comment on the incident, but said school personnel were cooperative with police.

Kerble did say Haynes would not be returning to classes when students return from February school vacation on Monday.

“As always, the safety of our students is our top priority,” Kerble said.

Howard praised school officials for quickly alerting police, giving his department a head start in its investigation. Assisting the police department in its investigation was the Essex County district attorney’s office.

“Everybody was spot-on in detecting an incident that needed to be addressed,” Howard said.