Florida teen, 16, arrested for 'recording 15-year-old sex trafficking victim sleeping with multiple boys in high school bathroom' with as many as 25 young men present
- William Scott, 16, of South Fort Myers High School, was arrested Friday
- He had filmed a girl, 15, having sex with several boys in a bathroom May 17
- He was charged with not stopping the acts and having obscene material
- As many as 25 boys were filmed on CCTV going into the bathroom
- The girl had been kidnapped at 13 and trafficked for two years
- She had only wanted to talk to a boy she had a crush on but he wanted sex
- She agreed, and when others heard they decided to join in
- She could not make a rational decision due to trauma, an expert claimed
Arrested: William Scott, 16, of Fort Myers, Florida, was arrested Friday for filming a 15-year-old girl, who was a sex-trafficking victim, having sex with several boys in a school bathroom
A 16-year-old Florida high-school football player was arrested Friday for allegedly recording a 15-year-old girl - a victim of sex trafficking - having sex with multiple boys in his school's bathroom.
William Scott, 16, was charged with three counts including child cruelty after the incident, which saw as many as 25 boys entering the bathroom while the girl was participating in sex acts.
A video of the May 17 incident, which took place at South Fort Myers High School, was circulated online and 16 boys at have been disciplined by school authorities, although Scott is the first to face criminal charges, News-Press.com said.
Scott, a junior at the school, is considered to be one of the best school running backs in South Florida, ABC-7 reported.
He managed to run nearly 1,500 yards in eight games for Bishop Verot during the 2015 season despite being suspended for two games.
His father reportedly died of AIDS and his family hoped that he might be able to lift them out of poverty, the channel said.
The girl confirmed in a police report that she had sex with several 'willing' males in the bathroom, and as many as 25 boys were seen on security footage entering the room during that period.
It's not known how many the girl had sex with, but Megan Estrem, CEO of Be the Light, an advocacy group for victims of sex slavery who is familiar with the girl, said it was 'only a handful.'
The girl was only 13 when she was kidnapped and held captive by a human trafficker for two years, Estrem told NBC-2.
The girl's mom brought her to Estrem for help after saving her daughter. The child had been placed in multiple treatment programs, none of which dealt with the trauma of the sexual abuse she had experienced.
School: The incident took place on May 14 at South Fort Myers High School (pictured). The girl, who had only been at the school two weeks, had gone into a bathroom to talk to a boy she had a crush on. He demanded sex
CCTV: The girl complied, then other boys began to join in. CCTV footage shows as many as 25 boys entering the bathroom - although only a 'handful' had sex with the girl, according to a source close to her family
Estrem said the girl had been at the school for two weeks when the incident occurred. She had followed a boy she had a crush on into the bathroom to talk to him.
He said that he wanted sex and she complied - and when work got out, other boys came to take advantage.
'She was not equipped to make a stable, rational decision in that situation,' Estrem said.
'She has been in an environment where she has been told to behave a certain way, and there were severe consequences if she didn't.'
Nicole Waid, a former chief assistant U.S. attorney based in Fort Myers, told the channel that traffickers tend to target vulnerable children such as runaways and those with low self esteem, and make them have sex with as many as 30-40 people a day.
The girl and her parents were not willing to press charges against the boys involved in the incident, The Associated Press reported.
Florida's age of consent is 18, but state law contains a provision allowing 16- and 17-year-olds to consent to having sex with someone aged 16-23.
Vulnerable: The girl, who was kidnapped at 13 and trafficked for two years but has not been able to get treatment for the trauma, was not capable of making a rational decision, an expert said
Authorities also decided not to pursue any criminal charges until video of the encounter was sent to news outlets and posted online.
At that point detectives and the Florida Department of Children and Families decided to investigate further.
The video was largely circulated on Snapchat, Fox4now reported, which is supposed to only allow viewers to see a video or image once before it's deleted - but some managed to save it to their devices.
It is not yet known whether police will take any action against others that shared the video online.
However, Sheriff Mike Scott said: 'While it is regrettable that this incident occurred in the first place, we are always committed to holding everyone responsible for their actions.'
But some are cynical that those in power are not interested in upsetting the status quo when athletes such as Scott are involved.
'I know there's a lot of problems with professional athletes and this is where it starts, right here. This is the kind of stuff that if someone does nothing about it, it keeps on going,' Thomas Thayer, whose daughter is a high school freshman, said to ABC-7.
Discipline: The school disciplined 16 boys after the incident. The girl and her parents did not wish to press charges and police were not inclined to do so until a video of the incident leaked online
'I'm thinking it can happen in any school,' he continued. 'I'm glad it wasn't my daughter and I know it can happen in any school around here.
'That's the way our country is. A lot of the athletes get by. And they shouldn't get by with something like that.'
However, Jennifer DeShazo, spokeswoman with the Lee County School District, told News-Press.com, 'Today’s events are not a reflection of the football team in any way and should not be portrayed as such.'
News of the incident spread both on social media and within the county. A local church held a forum this week about rape culture. The school superintendent and principal sent letters to parents.
Superintendent Greg Adkins wrote earlier in the week that 'conversations about right and wrong have occurred in many contexts, and with the parents present.'
Scott was charged with child cruelty, allowing a child to engage in a sex act and possession of obscene material Friday.
He is currently being held in a juvenile intake facility, according to News-Press.com.
Shared: The video was shared on the app Snapchat (pictured). It is not clear whether other youths who shared the video will be prosecuted too
Most watched News videos
- She's on a roll! Diane Abbott has yet ANOTHER car crash interview
- Brave bar worker jams door to stop terrorist forcing his way in
- Hero Londoners try to save victims of city's latest terror attack
- Amazing! Policeman dances with group of kids at 'One Love'
- Kharum Butt appears with ISIS flag in documentary last year
- Ariana Grande shares emotional moment with children's choir
- Suspected London terrorist appears with ISIS flag in documentary
- Toddler copies dads road rage to turn air blue
- The bicycle thief: Step-dad steals bike to teach daughter lesson
- Video seems to capture the moment shots were fired in London Bridge
- Gruesome moment zookeepers feed a LIVE donkey to tigers
- Ariana Grande's emotional tribute to Olivia Campbell at One Love