Torrington High School Sex Case: 2 Football Players Accused Of Sexually Assaulting 13-Year-Old Girl

Two 18-year-old Connecticut men have been accused of sexual assault of a 13-year-old girl, and this case is already turning out to be terrifyingly similar to the Steubenville, Ohio sexual assault case in which two high school football players were found guilty of sexual assaulting a 16-year-old girl.

Edgar Gonzalez and Joan Toribio were accused of felony second degree sexual assault, illegal sexual contact, and risk of injury on Wednesday after being arrested within days of one another in February. Both are Torrington High School football players, and though their crimes are identical, it is unclear at this point as to whether they are related.

Gonzalez was even allowed to play last fall even though the coach knew he had been charged with felony robbery and assault following a hazing scandal.

But school officials, namely school athletic director Mike McKenna, remain unconvinced that these incidents signal a deeper problem within the school, or even around the country.

"If you think there’s some wild band of athletes that are wandering around then I think you’re mistaken," McKenna said. "If you look at crime statistics these things happen everywhere and we’re not any different than any other community."

McKenna's response to these incidents show just how out of touch people can be when it comes to sexual assault cases, and his assertion that "these things happen everywhere" has an eerie calmness to it.

Students at Torrington High School, just like in Steubenville, have taken to social networking to harass the 13-year-old victim:


 



These sexual assault charges are the latest of a string of incidents from the last year involving members of the football team. As a result of the hazing scandal in the fall, four players were suspended. When asked about letting Gonzalez play despite his criminal record, former head coach Dan Dunaj said, "As a coach, I was doing something right. If you didn't give the kid a chance, then who's going to?"

Dunaj resigned from his position following the scandal and his related actions. Victim-blaming, covering up for popular football players, and harassment should never be tolerated. With the significant missteps made in the Steubenville case still fresh in our minds, one can only hope that Torrington — and the country — treats these similar cases much differently.

Both men are expected to be in court next month.

How much do you trust the information in this article?

Christine Salek

Christine is a writer and perpetual student living in Des Moines, Iowa. Her writing can also be found on Medium, the Gonzaga Bulletin, and ResearchGate.

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