Racist student who raped disabled Black teen with hanger goes free

 John R.K. Howard (Photo Source: Lincoln County Jail)
John R.K. Howard (Photo source: Lincoln County Jail)

Last year a horrific rape of a Black special needs student by racist student-athletes shocked many across the country. For months, several White football players at Dietrich High School in Dietrich, Idaho, used racial slurs to intimidate a Black teammate. The racial intimidation eventually led to a brutal rape in the locker room where the Black victim’s pants were pulled down and a coat hanger inserted into his rectum. Another White student, John Howard, kicked the hanger five times pushing the hanger deeper into the teen’s rectum and causing tears that required surgery.

The assault was the end of a long string of abusive racist torment leveled at the special needs student. The student’s family has stated that he was called names like chicken-eater, Kool-Aid, watermelon and the N-word. Howard had also previously posted a Confederate flag on the victim’s computer and forced the victim to memorize and recite a racist song titled “Moonman Notorious KKK”:

“Moon man, Moon man, can’t you see/ S—s and n—ers need to hang from trees/ And I just love your racist ways/I guess that’s why their mom is black and you’re so great.”

This past Friday, Howard walked out of court a free man for his horrific actions against the victim. He struck a plea deal for a lesser charge of injury to a child and now only faces 2-3 years of probation and 300 hours of community service. In addition, he will not have to register as a sex offender despite his rape of the victim. His next court appearance will be in February 2017 when a judge will render his final sentence.

The victim’s family was outraged by the plea deal. “It’s absolutely preposterous that this kid should walk away with apparently no punishment whatsoever. Everyone is more concerned with these young sociopaths than the victim of their violence,” said the family’s attorney, R. Keith Roark. Roark has lodged a complaint with the state attorney general’s office and demanded an explanation.

The victim’s family is pursuing a $10 million civil lawsuit against the school district for ignoring the bullying that the victim endured for months. In court documents the lawsuit states that “Mr. Howard is a relative of prominent individuals in the community and, at least in part due to his athletic ability and community connections, the Defendants ignored or were deliberately indifferent to the behavior of Mr. Howard which included aggression, taunting and bullying of the plaintiff and other students in the District. With deliberate indifference, the Defendants did nothing to curb the vicious acts of Mr. Howard who brought with him from Texas a culture of racial hatred towards the Plaintiff.”

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