Rape reported at the Junior High

Published 1:37 am Friday, February 13, 2009

An alleged rape is reported to have taken place at Picayune Junior High School.

The incident is reported to have taken place Tuesday afternoon. Picayune Police received a call that day at about 7:36 p.m. of a teenage girl at Highland Hospital. An officer was requested to meet the girl’s parents at the hospital where information about the alleged incident was then relayed to the department by the parents.

Chief Jim Luke said the unnamed 14 year-old girl relayed information about the alleged incident to her parents who in turn called the police. The victim was taken to the hospital after she informed her parents.

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The alleged rape was reported to have taken place at the junior high school. Investigation into the case has provided enough probable cause to press charges against 15 year-old Nicholas Batiste, of 821 Herrin Dr.

Under a Mississippi statute Batiste can be charged as an adult in spite of his minor status due to the nature of the crime, Luke said. Facts are still being gathered as the case is still under investigation, Luke said.

An initial appearance was held Wednesday morning where the Municipal Court Judge set Batiste’s bond at $75,000. Batiste was reported to still be in jail as of Wednesday afternoon.

Deputy Chief David Ervin said the department takes crimes such as these very seriously and a select group of investigators have been assigned to the case. As investigators gathered evidence, the department consulted with the District Attorney’s office to establish the correct charges.

School officials have been very cooperative with the ongoing investigation, Luke said.