A 15-year-old sophomore at Fort Hunt High School was abducted one night last week from a school parking lot and then raped in a boys' bathroom at the school by at least two persons while at least 10 others looked on and jeered, Fairfax County police said yesterday.
Police said the incident occurred during a pair of Wednesday night football contests at the school, located off Rte. 1 south of Alexandria, and that some of those involved were students.
Another female student reported the attack to a Fort Hunt teacher "during the incident, or shortly thereafter," according to police spokesman Warren Carmichael.
But police did not learn of it until the next day, when friends of the victim and members of the Fort Hunt football team reported it to school authorities, a school official said.
Fairfax police, who initially withheld news of the incident, said yesterday they have issued a warrant for the arrest of an Alexandria man -- who is not a student -- charging him with abduction, and are seeking two other individuals for questioning. Carmichael refused to name the suspects, saying that police fear they will flee.
"We had a number of viable leads which we wished to pursue without the glare of publicity," said Carmichael, in explaining why the incident had not been disclosed. Information about the incident came only in response to inquiries.
Fairfax School Superintendent William J. Burkholder said he knew nothing of the incident when contacted yesterday. But later he said: "If the facts are what I understand them to be now, I'm appalled, and it's nothing like what I like to see happen anywhere."
Police said they do not believe football players from any schools involved in the two games -- two teams from Fort Hunt and one each from T. C. Williams High and George Washington Junior High in Alexandria -- were involved in the incident, which occurred about 9:30 p.m. as the junior varsity games and a PTA meeting were under way at the school.
Rumors about what happened and how many people were involved abounded at the school, according to students interviewed yesterday.
Genet Creighton, an administrative aide at the school, said yesterday the victim was at school the day after the incident, but had not returned to school since.
School officials said no students or personnel had been suspended in connection with the incident. Area superintendent Doris A. Torrice said, "The facts do not suggest the staff was negligent in any way."
There were no police at the school the night of the game, school officials said, because police are routinely present only at varsity contests. Torrice said that policy is under review.
Earlier that evening, police spokesman Carmichael said, the victim was approached by the man they are now seeking, who made overtures, which she rejected.
Later, Carmichael said, the same man grabbed the girl as she stood with a group of people and dragged her into a bathroom in the school. He said a number of people witnessed the abduction.
Some of those people who had been in the parking lot followed, Carmichael said. In the bathroom, the man shoved the girl into a stall, pulled off her clothes and raped her as at least 10 others watched, some of whom hooted and jeered, he said.
At least one more, and perhaps two, then raped the girl, Carmichael said.
As she was being assaulted, Carmichael said, a female acquaintance became aware of what was happening and ran for a teacher, but when the male teacher got to the bathroom, no one was there.
Police believe the attackers and the witnesses fled because they feared authorities were on the way.
Carmichael said he could not say if those being sought were students or not, and he also declined to say whether charges would be brought against spectators, or only against those who raped the student. "I can't say at this time.
He said police do not believe the girl and the man being sought knew each other.
At a meeting of the Fort Hunt PTA last night, president Wiley Neal said, "we are dealing with the issue as an allegation -- I don't want it to cast the school in a bad light, particularly in view of the other decisions" the school faces. He was referring to proposals to meet the problem of declining enrollment. One solution would involve merging Fort Hunt with Groveton High.