4 junior high school students face sexual assault charges in Holyoke

HOLYOKE, Colo. -- Four boys at Holyoke Junior High School are facing sexual assault charges.

Holyoke School District RE-1J superintendent John McCleary said the school cooperated with the district attorney's office and police department in a lengthy investigation. Holyoke is in extreme northeastern Colorado.

The boys were charged with sexual assault with physical force and attempted sexual assault with physical force.

Most of the allegations occurred off school grounds and the school has followed correct procedures, 13th Judicidal District Attorney Brittny Lewton said.

“Our focus is to make sure every kid is safe in Holyoke,” McCleary said. “That we can have mechanisms in place and support that kids might need going into the school and also to make sure we conduct as fair and thorough of an investigation as possible.”

One of the accused is also a victim, according to Lewton, who said there were no weapons used in the incidents.

A judge issued a gag order, limiting the details of the investigation.

“I think that any school district that has gone through these things needs to reflect and move forward in a lot of different areas,” McCleary said. “We’re working on a lot of different things to support kids in the future.”

If the four students were adults, they would be charged with class 3 and class 4 felonies. ​Their first court appearance is set for Aug. 22.