Purported Victim in Sexual Assault at Hercules High School Says Attack Never Happened

A student who said he was sexually assaulted inside a school bathroom by three other teens at Hercules High now says the incident did not occur, police said Tuesday.

Police launched an investigation into the reported attack on Monday, and were considering the incident to be a hate crime because the 15-year-old victim identified himself as a transgender male.

"As the investigation continued officers were unable to substantiate the facts of the victim's statement; including the time frame of the incident, and the lack of physical injuries to the victim's head, face and hands," the Hercules Police Department said in a statement.

The student admitted the reported assault was fabricated during a follow-up interview with investigators Tuesday afternoon. Police are now considering filing charges against the teen, including filing a false report.

The student previously told police he was sexually assaulted just after 11 a.m. in a boy's bathroom in Building 300 of the Hercules High campus at 1900 Refugio Valley Road.

The teen was leaving the bathroom when he was confronted by three other students and forced into a stall, the student previously told police.

In response to the reported attack, school officials on Tuesday held a meeting with staff and teachers to discuss the incident. Counselors were also on campus to talk with students.

Educators also planned to hold a Safety Committee meeting at 9 a.m. Thursday at Pinole Valley High School.

Hercules High was the scene of a fight involving another transgender student late last year.

Jewlyes Gutierrez, a 16-year-old sophomore who identifies as a transgender female, was involved in a fight with three other 16-year-old students on Nov. 13.

Gutierrez was charged with misdemeanor battery in connection with the fight, but her family distributed a petition saying that Gutierrez was responding to constant bullying and harassment.

A video of the incident was widely viewed online and fueled a debate late last year about the school district's policies about bullying.

Gutierrez said she is hopeful the charge will be dismissed after she completes a conflict resolution program.

Gutierrez's case attracted the attention of advocacy groups, who questioned why she was the only student to face criminal penalties from the November brawl.

NBC Bay Area's Chase Cain, Bay City News Service and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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