Three New Jersey Teens Charged With Sexually Assaulting Special Education Student

Three teen boys are charged with sexually assaulting a special education student in a northern New Jersey home, authorities said Tuesday.

One of the attackers is 18 and the others are 16; the girl is 16, said Paul Loriquet, a spokesman for the Essex County Prosecutor's Office.

All are students at Montclair High School. The attack allegedly took place Thursday afternoon at the home of the 18-year-old after the students skipped classes, Loriquet said.

The mental capacity of the girl was still being determined, he said.

"The victim told a girlfriend who told a Montclair High guidance counselor," who notified authorities, Loriquet said.

Authorities identified the 18-year-old as Romal Roberts. He and the 16-year-old boys were charged with aggravated sexual assault in an 18-count indictment. The names of the 16-year-olds, who are juveniles, would not be released unless they are tried as adults.

Evidence from the Montclair home was seized and is being tested, Loriquet said.

The three suspects all surrendered. Authorities have not yet determined of others were involved, he said.

The case revived memories of a notorious sex attack on a 17-year-old mentally retarded girl in neighboring Glen Ridge in 1989 by schoolmates. Several Glen Ridge High School athletes served prison terms after being convicted. The case was dramatized in an ABC television movie in 1999.