A Washington high school football player will still get to don the team’s uniform and enjoy himself while his two alleged rape victims await justice. Parents are furious that Tyler Smith, a high school senior charged in two separate rape investigations is allowed to continue playing football while he’s out on bail.
Both victims clearly said “no,” but prosecutors say Smith, who is out on bail, raped them anyway.
Superintendent Mike Parker of the Hoquiam School district says that the allegations are sickening, but he supports the coach’s decision to allow Smith to continue to play defensive tackle for the team.
“We felt that he’s innocent until proven guilty,” Parker said. “As bad as the crime might be, as repulsive as the crime might be, we’re trusting that the court system will sort that out for us.”
Residents are speaking out against the decision.
“I think if there’s an accusation it needs to be investigated first when it’s that magnitude,” said Shawn Sinor, whose grandchild attends the school district,” said the grandmother of a district student.
“I think it should be the same deal as what the NFL is doing. They should be off from it and not playing,” said the grandparent of another student.
Parker cited a lack of knowledge about the NFL as a reason the school has not done that. “I don’t know the NFL and the players’ union contract well enough to be able to comment on that,” the superintendent said.
According to prosecutors, Smith raped one of the girls over the summer, and another in 2012. When detectives asked Smith if the girls said “no,” he told them, “Yeah, but I thought she was saying ‘no’ for pleasure and not to stop having sex.”
Watch a report on these horrific crimes, below: