Mallard Creek football player charged in rape on campus

High school student charged with rape

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Jonathan Neal played an important role on Mallard Creek's Championship Football team.

The 18-year-old senior played defensive end on a team that went undefeated.

Monday afternoon, the teen was behind bars in the Mecklenburg County Jail, charged with second-degree rape for allegedly assaulting a 14-year-old freshman at the school.

The incident happened last Thursday around 3:35 in the afternoon, which is an hour after school gets out.

"I feel bad for the parents, and I feel bad for her, and I just wish the best for her," said a student who didn't want to be identified.

Investigators say the reason Neal was charged with second-degree rape is because no weapon was used-- only physical force.

Neal had his first appearance this afternoon. The judge reduced his bond from $50,000 to $25,000 secured.

If he gets out, he'll be on electronic monitoring and house arrest, but the judge will allow him to attend school.

Acting Superintendent Ann Clark released the following statement to NBC Charlotte:

I am deeply saddened by the report of an alleged assault of a student at Mallard Creek High School. My thoughts and prayers are with the student and family members impacted by this situation. There is nothing more important than the safety of our students and staff. I take this incident and any issues involving student safety in our schools very seriously. I am grateful to our law enforcement partners for swiftly apprehending the alleged perpetrator who was taken into custody. CMS will continue to provide any support needed by law enforcement to pursue this case to the fullest extent of the law.

Neal's family members told the judge that he has a football scholarship to go to college, but they would not say where.


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