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Investigators: Downsville teen confesses to rape

UNION Parish - UPDATE: A Downsville teenager has admitted to an accused rape on school campus.

According to the Union Parish Sheriff's Office, a 19-year-old Downsville Charter School student remained incarcerated Wednesday in the Union Parish Detention Center on a charge of third-degree rape.

Kenneth Dalton Thurston, of 711 Hwy. 552, Downsville, was charged in connection with the sexual assault on a 17-year-old female student inside the school’s library, Sheriff Dusty Gates said.

He is being held on a $75,000 bond.

Investigators were called to the school Dec. 18 in reference to a sexual assault that occurred during the first period class.

The victim told investigators that she was doing her school work when the suspect entered the library. It was learned that the victim had permission to be in the library, but that Thurston did not.

There were no other students or teachers in the library at the time.

Investigators reported that the victim told them that Thurston lured her into an empty office by telling her that he had found her grades on a desk. When she went to look, the victim said the suspect grabbed her and refused to let her go.

Surveillance video shows that the victim, after being released and warned not to tell anyone, went directly to the office to report the incident.

Investigators said Thurston initially denied the accusations, but when presented with evidence that the accusations were true, he admitted that there was forced sex involved.

Before making bond, Thurston must agree not to have contact with the victim, be fitted with a GPS monitoring device and not return to school.

The penalty if convicted for third-degree rape is imprisonment at hard labor without benefit of parole, probation or suspension of sentence for not more than 25 years.

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MOTHER SPEAKS: Christy Antley said her son took a test Monday morning, got sick and came home. As she went into town to get him medicine, she gets a call saying her son Kenneth Thurston had been arrested for rape.

Antley said he had his whole life ahead of him, "He had his whole life planned out, career to retirement, he had it all planned out and now everything is gone over these accusations."

So now she's on a mission, "On these online classes if he's not doing any work at all it will say idle time, if he is constantly doing key work it will not show anything but progress, and it showed he did nothing but progress during 8:00a.m. to 8:48 a.m.," said Antley.

Antley has a log of Thurston's whereabouts from Monday and she claims there is only a six minute window where the alleged rape could have happened. "[At] 7:40 a.m. to 7:54 a.m. he was idle. We have a text log from his girlfriend showing that he was texting during that time. [From] 7:54 a.m. to 8 a.m he was completely logged off, nothing was going on near the computer that's when the rape would have happened --- At 8 a.m. they were both online testing, they both left the class at 8:50 a.m., he called to check out at 8:51, and he checked out at 8:53."

Antley also charges that they have had issues with the accuser before. "The same girl that accused him of doing drugs on school property, which the drug test proved he did not, after that she started messaging my son's girlfriend saying flirty things about him. When that didn't fall through, he told her he didn't want to deal with this she turns around and says that he raped her."

Due to his past, Antley said there is no way her son could have done this, "This is not him, this is not him, he was  a victim of a similar thing when he was eight years old by a family friend he would not turn around and do this to another woman." 

Now she's asking the accuser to come forward, "You need to make it right, don't let his whole life be thrown away over this, I understand what you're going through but you cannot tell lies and ruin someone's life."

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LATEST: A lot of questions still coming up in the case of a student accused of raping another student at Downsville Charter School.

The Union Parish Sheriff's Office says it happened  at the school's library. 

The accused, 19-year-old Kenneth Thurston but what parents want to know is why they found out two days later. 

A parent of a child at the school, who wishes to remain anonymous, found the news disturbing.

"I'm upset and hurt to know that things like this have happened and my daughter is there and other children are unaware and parents don't know what's happened up there," 


"It's a wake up call," Reggie Skains, Mayor of Downsville said.

"I know you got privacy acts but you have 380 students, parents and grand parents that need to know."

Long time resident, Harry Hinton is surprised because he literally lives right across the street from the school and has never heard of these types of things happening before.

"You'd think somebody would've notified and got it out in the community," he said.

Residents are now starting to doubt the safety for kids on the school's campus.

"I just don't see how something like this can happen in a school building there should be people monitoring you would think," Hinton said. 

 For now the focus is on the alleged victim of a heinous crime and how to make sure this never happens again.

"She deserves justice and our children and our children deserve protection when they're away from all of us parents," the anonymous parent said.

Downsville Charter Principal could not comment on the matter, but he did say that this incident will cause school officials to take another look at the campus safety policies and procedures.

The case is still under investigation by the Union Parish Sheriff's Office.
 

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 UPDATE: The Union Parish Sheriff's Office has released further details into a rape case that took place on the campus of Downsville Charter.

The incident happened Monday morning around 8:30 - 8:45 a.m. (December 18, 2017).

Kenneth Thurston, 19, is accused of taking a 17 year old victim into an empty office in the library where he assaulted her but she was able to get away.

Thurston was arrested on one count of 3rd degree rape and booked into the Union Parish Detention Center.

His bond has been set at $75,000. 

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(12/20/2017) According to our partners at The News-Star, a Downsville Charter student has been arrested and charged with third-degree rape.

Kenneth Thurston, 19, was arrested this week and is being held in the Union Parish Detention Center. A center employee said Wednesday morning that a bond has not yet been set.

Union Parish Schools Superintendent George Cannon said he has limited information about the reported incident and has not been contacted by the school since the allegation was first reported to him. He knows that a parent reported a rape that they said occurred on the Downsville Charter campus.

Read more at The News-Star.


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