Hate crime or school fight? Teen reportedly beaten, called derogatory names


by Claudia Coffey


Posted on March 7, 2011 at 6:40 PM

Updated Monday, Mar 7 at 6:45 PM

(WHAS11) - An Indiana teen was reportedly beaten and called homosexual derogatory names.

 It allegedly happened last week at Silver Creek High School in Sellersburg.

One teen was arrested and the victim is still recovering. 

Now the family is speaking out about why they think this should be investigated as a hate crime.

Rito Osorio says he clearly remembers another teen shouting gay slurs then being hit in the face several times before teachers came to his aid.

But the police department says this case is closed. It's not a hate crime, just a school fight. This is what 16-year-old Rito Osorio looked like after he was brutally attacked in the bathroom of Silver Creek High School.

"My face, my lip, he got me up here and here," says Osorio.

His nose was fractured in several places and at one point he was hit so hard his lip ring is now jammed into the roof of his mouth. He has to have surgery to remove it.  Osorio says he's never had a dispute until last week with this particular student.

"I was sitting at lunch and he tapped me on the shoulder and said hey man we got to talk. So I said ok I didn't think anything of it. I got up and followed him in the bathroom. I went in there and I looked around and it was packed. When I looked back he hit me and he kept hitting me and hitting me, “says Osorio.

Osorio says the student used gay slurs when he attacked. The student was later arrested for battery with injuries.

The Sellersburg Police Chief says he doesn't believe this is a hate crime rather a simple case of one student attacking another student and no other students are involved. At this point he says the case is closed. But Osorio says other students were in the bathroom watching at the time. His mother Andrea says she feels as if this is being brushed under the rug.

"What's to keep a repeat performance of happening from one of these other kids if he goes back to school this week? So I don't know what I am going to do," says Andrea Osorio.

The school itself would not comment at all on the matter and also would not say if the other student would be expelled for the remainder of the year.