Thursday, December 1, 2011

Cleveland school official's children charged with lying about rape

Liberty County sheriff's detectives have arrested two children of the Cleveland Independent School District board president for allegedly lying to police about an alcohol-fueled party at their home where a teenage girl says she was raped, authorities said.

Capt. Rex Evans with the Liberty County Sheriff's Office said detectives arrested Kyle Lee Lewis, 20, and Rachel Leigh Lewis, 17, Monday on a misdemeanor charge of false reporting. The siblings, children of board president Lloyd T. Lewis, hosted a party while their parents were out of town Nov. 9, Evans said.

"Evidently Kyle and Rachel invited several people over, and several people grew into more people and more people," Evans said, adding that alcohol was consumed at the party.

He said authorities received a 911 call that night from a neighbor who said a young woman knocked on her door, half-dressed and distraught, saying she had been raped.

"You can clearly hear (the victim) in the background, very distraught, very upset, indicating that she had been raped," Evans said.

Evidence sent to DPS

The alleged victim, 17, told authorities that "at some point in the evening, a person or persons were involved in forcing her down and sexually assaulting her. She indicated that she managed to escape the house, and that even though all those people were there, evidently no one attempted to help her," Evans said.

Evans said the sheriff's office has interviewed witnesses at the party and has sent evidence to the Texas Department of Public Safety crime lab for testing.

"Everybody that is not being truthful with us is facing a criminal charge for making a false statement," he said.

In addition to Kyle and Rachel Lewis, authorities arrested an 18-year-old Houston woman, Shelby Lofton, on the same false reporting charge. Another man is expected to be arrested, Evans said, though he could provide no more information.

The Lewis family did not return a phone call on Tuesday.