UPDATE (5:34 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 28): 13 News has learned that an incident at Ripley High School that led to the arrests of an 18-year-old and three juveniles happened on or about Oct. 21, 2022, according to court documents.
13 News has learned earlier this morning from Ripley Police that the investigation began in early November after a faculty member overheard two students talking about the incident and brought it to the attention of school administrators and the school resource officer.
Those court documents also say 18-year-old Jacob Banton is facing two counts of battery and one count of conspiracy. According to the court documents, Banton was arrested Dec. 14, 2022, and bond was posted by his parents.
13 News has also learned Banton is the son of Ripley High School’s vice principal Jeff Banton.
UPDATE (3:21 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 28): According to Mason County Prosecuting Attorney Seth Gaskins, his office has been appointed as special prosecuting attorney for the case against Jacob Banton and the other three juveniles.
On Tuesday, Ripley Police said that Banton was arrested along with four juveniles, but the Mason County Prosecutor’s Office now says that there were only three juveniles charged.
Gaskins told 13 News that his office was assigned the task because someone in the Jackson County Prosecuting Attorney’s office had a conflict of interest regarding the cases.
UPDATE (11:17 a.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 28): 13 News has learned from Ripley Police that the investigation began in early November after a faculty member overheard two students talking about the incident and brought it to the attention of school administrators and the school resource officer.
RIPLEY, WV (WOWK) – An 18-year-old and four juveniles are facing charges in connection to an incident that happened at Ripley High School.
According to the Ripley Police Department, one of the four juveniles is facing charges of sexual abuse, conspiracy and battery. The 18-year-old and three other juveniles have all been charged with conspiracy and battery, officers say.
Ripley PD has identified the 18-year-old as Jacob Banton. He was arrested last week and is out on bond. He will appear in court on Feb. 22.
Police also say the victim in this incident is a juvenile.
The RPD says these charges stem from a lengthy investigation into an incident that happened during an after-school athletic team workout.
Police also say the incident was isolated and there are no threats to any other students at the school.
The Ripley Police Department says they will not be making any further statements regarding the investigation to protect the juvenile victim.
Jackson County Schools Superintendent William Hosaflook says that he cannot comment on an ongoing investigation.