As two Vista Murrieta High School football players appeared in court to face sex-crime charges involving underage girls, the mother of one player sought to distance his case from his former teammate's.
One player is charged with two counts of forcible rape involving two victims, two counts of lewd acts with a girl under 14 and three counts of imprisonment involving three additional victims, according to John Hall, a spokesman for the Riverside County district attorney's office.
The other is facing "sex-related charges," Hall said. Both are 17 years old and have been removed from the football team.
On Tuesday, the mother of the boy facing “sex-related charges” told KTLA-TV that her son was “a good young man,” “very honest” and that his case was “totally something different” from his teammate’s.
“The district attorney does have evidence that he had consensual sex with another high school student,” she told the station. “They have no evidence of him raping anybody.”
Emotions were high outside the courthouse, the station reported. A woman who said she was the mother of one of the alleged victims shouted to the media as she exited Tuesday.
“Lock him up, that’s what they need to do,” the woman said. “And throw the key away.”
Murrieta Unified School District spokeswoman Karen Perris told KCBS-TV that the alleged crimes did not occur on campus or “in conjunction with any school activities.”
School officials said they notified police as soon as they became aware of the accusations.