VERNON - An 11-year-old boy told sheriff's deputies he was held down by a group of boys at a slumber party and sodomized, and his parents have called for the boy's former friends and classmates to be criminally charged.
Detectives spent most of the day Monday interviewing the eight children accused of being involved in the incident that happened at a birthday celebration sleepover Friday night and into Saturday.
No charges were filed as of Monday against the boys, who are all elementary school classmates and friends from Badger Elementary School.
"We're definitely investigating," Trumbull County Sheriff Maj. Tom Stewart said. "We have detectives out there talking to the young children as we speak. We also had (a detective) go out most of the day Saturday."
Stewart said investigators are still piecing together what happened, including trying to figure out what object was used in the attack. Trumbull County Children Services also is investigating.
Reports state that the boy when to the party in the 7000 block of state Route 7. The boy's mother said she picked him up at about 12:30 p.m. and a man at the house said her son was still sleeping while the eight other boys were playing outside.
The mother said she noticed permanent marker on the boy's face and arms. Her son told her that during the night, the other boys at the party held him down and sodomized him, the report states. He said he was in pain and was taken to Trumbull Memorial Hospital's emergency room. He was then sent to Akron Children's Hospital at Boardman, reports state.
The boy told deputies he was awakened at about 3 a.m. Saturday to seven boys holding him down and the eighth boy sodomized him. He told deputies he wanted to tell the parents at the home but couldn't find their bedroom. He said he decided to stay away from the other boys until his mother came to pick him up.
He also told deputies he was unaware he had permanent marker drawn on him.
The markings, made on the boy's arms, leg and back, include one that points an arrow to the boys buttocks.
Attempts to reach the family who hosted the party were unsuccessful.
The boy's father, who asked not to be named to protect his child's identity, said Monday his son slept all day Saturday and was feeling better.
"Right now, he's doing good real good considering the circumstances," he said. "He's just upset it was his friends that did this. It wasn't a random act where someone just grabbed him on the street. They run together every day, they're in class together every day. He's more or less embarrassed. But he did the right thing by speaking up."
The father said he found out about the attack while at work. He said he couldn't find out much information because the boy's mother was "hysterical."
"It's the worst thing in the world to know something happened to your namesake and there's nothing you can do about it," he said.
The father said he plans to send his son to counseling. He also said he's trying to find out if he can home school his son for the final few weeks of the school year.
He also said he wants to see justice for his son. He called for all eight kids involved to be criminally charged and believes the children's parents are also responsible.
"I'm hoping something is done," he said. "I want action to be taken against the parents too. I put the parents at fault just as much as the kids. Why weren't they being monitored? How can they not see that happening?"