JOHNSTON, Iowa -- Behind the smiles of homecoming week, the festivities and the hype, Thursday's Johnston High School Homecoming Parade was followed by a dark cloud. "That is really tough to hear because it is sad. Lives shouldn't be taken away that early," said Johnston HS Freshman Daejordan Dudley.
The four Johnston High School students were arrested Thursday morning during the school day. Sophomore Money Dudley had been aware of what happened to several of his classmates. He said, "A couple of kids were out partying and made a couple of mistakes and they got the consequences of that."
Instead of throwing candy alongside classmates, each teenager was charged with one count of second degree sexual abuse, felony assault, and first degree robbery. The victim, a classmate and fifteen year old. "Daejordan said, "No one should be getting molested and beat up because that`s called bullying and bullying is not right for people."
For many of their classmates it was an early lesson learned in how mistakes can take away what was once taken for granted. "Some of those guys were my friends but they did what they did so the punishment and consequences, it is what it is," said Dudley.
Johnston Mayor Paula Dierenfeld is glad an anonymous citizen tipped police of the September 8th incident instead of sweeping a possible crime under the rug. "If it isn't uncovered, investigated or dealt with, it could happen again," said the Mayor.
As time marches on, Johnston is forced to face the music they were not prepared to hear. Mayor Dierenfeld said, "It's unfortunate. We never like to hear those kinds of things about our young people. We want kids to do well and excel as most do but sometimes bad things happen and we deal with it."