Three minors are charged with felony offenses following an alleged sexual assault that occurred in February.
Gavin Cziria, 14, is charged with first-degree forcible sexual assault, a Class 2 felony; Cole Woods-Flynn, 13, is charged with possession of a visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct, a Class 3A felony; and Lakodah McKinnis, 14, is charged with first-degree sexual assault, a Class 2 felony.
Class 2 felonies in Nebraska can carry a one-year minimum and 50-year maximum prison sentence, and a Class 3A can carry a maximum of three years imprisonment and 18 months post-release supervision, according to the Nebraska Legislature.
According to an arrest affidavit, on Feb. 13, a report was taken by a Washington County deputy regarding a sexual assault that occurred at a residence in Washington County the day prior during a party. There were seven individuals at this party.
The victim was identified as a minor boy.
One suspect, Cziria, reportedly pinned down the victim while they were wrestling, and a second suspect, McKinnis, pulled down the victim's pants and used an object to penetrate him.
The assault was recorded and distributed to other individuals by Woods-Flynn.
Two deputies went to the Woods-Flynn's residence to speak to him, and also took his phone to prevent him from deleting the video. When his parents arrived, they agreed to turn over the cellphone to law enforcement.
Law enforcement then arrived at the residence, located on March Hare Lane, and seized the item used to sexually assault the victim.
The victim was interviewed and recounted the events that took place that night. The victim confirmed he told an adult what had happened.
Law enforcement viewed the video taken by Woods-Flynn, and viewed the assault taking place.
The victim was also interviewed by a forensic interviewer at Project Harmony, where he recounted the assault by the three suspects.
The victim told the interviewer that because of the incident, as well as classmates knowing what happened, he wanted to stay out of school.
All three suspects were interviewed.
Woods-Flynn admitted to using the application Snapchat to share the video of the victim being assaulted, posting it to his story and sending it to the group chat involved at the party. He told law enforcement that he deleted the video off his phone, off Snapchat and off the group chat. Woods-Flynn identified the victim and the other two suspects in the video.
A text message between Woods-Flynn and the victim was read, where the victim asked why the "whole school" was told about the incident and "people aren't supposed to know."
During his interview, Cziria recounted that he and the victim were wrestling and during one point he heard the victim screaming. He reported the victim was mad at McKinnis the rest of the evening. Cziria also identified himself and McKinnis, as well as the victim, in the video when showed. Cziria also identified himself as helping McKinnis assault the victim.
McKinnis told law enforcement he didn't remember what happened during the assault and "blacked out." During the interview, McKinnis began to cry and said he "didn't do it" and "I messed up."
In a statement provided to the Enterprise by Scott Vander Schaaf, Washington County attorney, "The County Attorney Office has filed charges against (three) young men related to a disturbing case. Not only was this a brutal and shameful act, but it was also recorded and shared amongst others. The law allows certain types of crimes, because of their serious nature, to be initially charged in adult court for a later determination to be made by the District Court. After reviewing the facts, serious nature of the crime and relevant law, a determination was made to charge these young men as adults.
"The matter will now proceed through the justice system."