Berkeley High police cruiser. Photo: Emilie Raguso
A police cruiser outside Berkeley High School. File photo credit: Emilie Raguso

A 15-year-old Berkeley High student has been charged after he sexually assaulted a student on campus in May, police said Wednesday.

Scroll to the bottom of this story for a statement from BUSD

According to a brief statement shared by the Berkeley Police Department, officers responded to the school May 20 at 12:40 p.m. for the sexual assault report.

“The sexual assault occurred on campus and during school hours,” police wrote. “Both the victim and the suspect are students at Berkeley High School.”

According to CrimeMapping, an online repository for local police data, the incident involved allegations of a felony sexual assault that took place May 20 at 10 a.m. in the 1900 block of Allston Way, where the Berkeley High campus is located.

Detectives investigated the report and obtained a warrant for the boy’s arrest. BPD took him into custody at his home June 15 and he was booked at Alameda County Juvenile Hall in San Leandro.

The Alameda County district attorney’s office has since charged the teenager, but police declined to share the specific charges, when charges were filed or whether the students knew each other prior to the sexual assault.

Police declined to release further details because both students are juveniles and due to the sensitive nature of the incident.

The Berkeley Unified School District said a statement on the arrest is forthcoming.

At least 41 sexual assaults were reported in Berkeley from Jan. 1 through June 20, the most recent date available, according to Nearly half were listed as felony sexual assaults.

Update, 3:48 p.m. The Berkeley Unified School District provided the following statement to Berkeleyside. It appears in full.

In line with District policy and mandated reporting requirements, BUSD administrators immediately notified the Berkeley Police Department and BUSD Title IX office after this incident was reported. District staff have been working closely with the members of our community involved in the incident and their families and are continuing to offer appropriate support and resources. 

BUSD is committed to maintainting an educational environment free of sexual harassment and assualt and will continue providing Berkeley High School students with consent education in the 2022-23 school year. In addition to focusing on sexual harassment prevention, we will continue working with students to advance our reporting practices, in order to ensure our students know how to report sexual misconduct on campus and feel safe doing so. The District enourages all of our students to immediatly report any and all instances of sexual harassment or assault so that our schools can address these reports in a timely and appropriate manner. Any instances of sexual misconduct can be reported to our teachers, counselors, administrators or the Title IX Coordinator directly, and the District staff will take all the necessary steps in line with the law and District policy to  prevent and respond to sexual misconduct. Independent from the District, our students can also report sexual misconduct to the BPD School Resource Office or the City of Berkeley Health Center located on the BHS campus. 

RAINN, the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization, offers a variety of resources for people who have experienced sexual violence and sexual harassment.

Emilie Raguso (former senior editor, news) joined Berkeleyside in 2012 and covered politics, public safety and development until her departure in 2022. In 2017, Emilie was named Journalist of the Year...