16-year-old arrested for the beating of a gay student at school

Published: Mar. 4, 2011 at 11:28 PM EST|Updated: Mar. 4, 2011 at 11:47 PM EST
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Rito Osorio
Rito Osorio
Chief Russ Whelan
Chief Russ Whelan

By Katie Bauer email | bio

SELLERSBURG, IN (WAVE) – A southern Indiana high school student is facing charges accused of brutally attacking a classmate.

Sellersburg Police say the attacker, a 16-year-old student at Silver Creek High School, was arrested and taken to the Clark County Juvenile Detention Center.

The victim and his family say he was targeted because of his sexual orientation.

When Silver Creek sophomore Rito Osorio was eating lunch on Thursday, he says a 16-year-old classmate came up, tapped him on the shoulder, and told him that they needed to talk. He says he asked him to follow him to the bathroom.

"I followed him in there and when I got in there it was pretty much packed," said Osorio. "It was full of eyes just watching."

Osorio says then the boy started punching him and calling him names, leaving him with several face fractures and a broken nose.

"He had a piercing under his lip, and that had been pushed up into the maxilla bone and chipped it, so it is stuck up there and is going to have to be surgically removed," said the victim's mother Andrea Osorio.

His mother says she can't believe this happened. "I really believe that he was targeted." His clothes are now the evidence of a violent beating.

Osorio is openly gay, and he believes that's why he was singled out by his attacker.

"We just need to be more tolerate as people," said Osorio.

He later heard another explanation. "People have been telling him that I've been talking about him saying that he was gay or something, but I haven't been saying that," said Osorio.

While Osorio says he never spread any rumors, Sellersburg Police Chief Russ Whelan says that's what pushed the boy over the edge.

"He was upset with the rumors that were going around the school about him that were coming from this other boy and he decided to take matters into his own hands," said Whelan.

That choice landed the 16-year-old in police custody. "The decision you make to go in the bathroom and beat on someone as this boy did could ultimately affect him for the rest of his life," said Whelan.

Silver Creek High School is conducting their own investigation as well as working with Sellersburg Police.  Right now Silver Creek's principal is not commenting on whether or not the 16-year-old will be allowed back at school.

 (Copyright 2011 WAVE News. All rights reserved.)