NOBLESVILLE, Ind.— A Hamilton County Superior Court magistrate denied a Noblesville teenager’s request for a protective order following accusations she was raped by a classmate.
Cloey, a 16-year old Noblesville High School student, and her mother Tracy Jones requested a protective order on October 4, 2017.
“We want to make sure she’s safe and we want to make sure other girls are safe as well,” said Jones before the hearing. “Justice needs to be served.”
More than four months later, on February 16, the court held a hearing in which the magistrate had to decide whether a credible safety threat existed against Cloey.
She was an honor roll student, but her grades have suffered as she deals with the fallout of her alleged rape, including having to see the boy at school.
“The more I would walk in the hallways, the more he would basically taunt me,” said Cloey.
Cloey’s mother filed a police report, and Noblesville Police sent their investigation to the Hamilton County juvenile prosecutor who declined to file charges against the boy.
Cloey and her mom hoped the protective order would keep the alleged perpetrator away from Cloey, including away from the school and home.
However, after hearing more than two hours of testimony from both sides, Magistrate Todd Ruetz denied Cloey’s request for a protective order.
Call 6 Investigates was not allowed to attend the hearing because it was a juvenile matter.
The boy’s attorney declined to comment to Call 6 Investigates.
Jones said the magistrate denied the request because it took Cloey a month to come forward, and the magistrate doubted Cloey felt unsafe.
“I’m very angry, disgusted and upset,” said Jones. “I know he’s going to do it again to somebody else. This guy just walked out of this room and now he feels like he’s got more power to do this again.”
Even in the #MeToo age, child advocates emphasizes it’s very common for teens to delay coming forward.
“Delayed disclosure is the number one type of disclosure,” said Brittany Winebar, Brittany Winebar, Youth Advocacy Supervisor at Prevail, a victims assistance organization. “People wait to tell about what happened to them, but we’re seeing more kids come forward more quickly and that can certainly help with investigations or potential prosecution.”
By federal law, schools have to make reasonable efforts to keep your child safe after they’ve been notified about suspected sexual violence.
Cloey does have a safety plan in place at Noblesville High School, but she said it’s not enough.
“I don’t feel safe in this town,” said Jones.
"We cannot comment on accusations that occurred outside of school that may be under investigation,” read the statement. “The criminal justice system is responsible for determining whether a crime is committed and how it should be addressed. Noblesville Schools does have counseling resources in place to address the social/emotional needs of all our students, and regularly provides supports to students experiencing difficult situations."
In 2017, there were 699 requests for protective orders and about 80 to 90% of those heard by the court are granted, according to Orval P. Schierholz, Administrator of Courts.
However, the court was unable to provide a breakdown on juvenile versus adult protective order requests and denials.