Las Vegas Sun

January 22, 2019

Currently: 45° — Complete forecast

16-year-old charged with sexual assault of teens

A 16-year-old high school student is being charged as an adult with sexually assaulting at least four teenage victims in Las Vegas.

Defense attorney Dustin Marcello today cast his client, Maysen Melton, as an immature victim in encounters with older girls.

Melton was indicted Wednesday on kidnapping, sexual assault and battery charges that could get him up to life in prison.

Prosecutor Kristina Rhoades says attacks occurred prior to March 2017, and that before Melton was charged as an adult, he completed a Juvenile Court sex offender probation program.

Marcello says Melton had been free without bail since June while the case was taken to a grand jury.

The Clark County School District issued a statement saying it has heard concerns from parents and employees and is cooperating with Metro Police.

"Nevada Revised Statute requires us to provide an education to all students. We make accommodations for students with a criminal history to ensure the safety of all students and staff," the district said.

"CCSD Police do not investigate sexual assaults. We refer all potential sexual assaults to local law enforcement. Schools cannot concurrently conduct investigations into matters being handled by local law enforcement because that could impede or interfere with the law enforcement investigation," the statement said.

Addressing reports that the suspect is a student at Palo Verde High School, Principal Darren Sweikert issued a message via ParentLink today that said there were "no reports of any such behavior occurring on the Palo Verde campus."

Travis Warnick, the principal at Shadow Ridge High, where the suspect reportedly previously attended school, said he could not provide information that is part of the police investigation.

"However, I can tell you that my priority — and the priority of our staff — is the safety of each and every student on campus. We take swift action to protect the safety of all students on this campus," he said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.