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Sheriff’s office investigates softball team incident on bus

The Kootenai County Sheriff’s Department is investigating an alleged incident in which students on the Kellogg High School softball team may have stripped the clothing off a teammate earlier this month.

Investigators have released few details in the case and no one has been charged, but sheriff’s Lt. Stuwart Miller said Wednesday they are investigating the case as potential battery.

The allegations are “there was a battery that took place on their bus,” he said.

However, he said, “We haven’t confirmed what the crime is, who was involved. They’re just starting their initial investigation on that.”

District Superintendent Sandra Pommerening did not return calls seeking comment Wednesday afternoon. However, KXLY reported that Pommerening said the girls were celebrating winning a softball game on the bus ride back to Kellogg when the situation escalated and three students stripped the student of her clothing in the back of the bus.

Pommerening told KXLY the students have been kicked off the softball team but not suspended or expelled from school.

The victim’s mother initially notified the Shoshone County Sheriff’s Department, Miller said, but the incident occurred in Kootenai County, so the case was forwarded to them.

“We just got the report today from Shoshone County, so I have very limited info,” Miller said. “We sent three detectives to Shoshone to start interview process (Wednesday) afternoon.”

The school’s principal, Wayne Pfeifer, declined to comment.

Idaho state law defines battery as “willful and unlawful use of force or violence upon the person of another,” or “actual, intentional and unlawful touching or striking of another person against the will of the other.”

In Idaho, battery is punishable by a fine not exceeding $1,000 or by imprisonment in the county jail not to exceed six months, unless the victim was pregnant, in which case the punishment can be more severe.

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