Crime

Meridian High student arrested for allegedly raping another student on school property

Washington state victims and arrests for forcible sex offenses

The Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs collect crime statistics from agencies that serve about 92% of the state. The most recent numbers available are from 2017.
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The Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs collect crime statistics from agencies that serve about 92% of the state. The most recent numbers available are from 2017.

A Meridian High School student was arrested Monday after he allegedly raped another student on school property.

Josue Nathan Miranda-Nolasco, 18, was arrested on suspicion of third-degree rape, according to Whatcom County Superior Court records.

Miranda-Nolasco was released on his personal recognizance at his first appearance Tuesday. He cannot return to school unless the victim is not present, or gives prior approval for him to attend. Miranda-Nolasco is also required to be at his home from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. every night, according to court records.

His arraignment is scheduled for June 14.

“The report of sexual assault at our high school is concerning and unsettling. We take the safety and security of our students very seriously,” Meridian Superintendent James Everett said in a statement to The Bellingham Herald. “We want every student in our schools to feel safe. We appreciate students came forward to talk to a trusted adult, who then alerted us to the situation.”

Everett said the school district is working closely with the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office and the families of those involved.

Everett said due to student privacy law, he was unable to share information about student discipline.

In response to a question about what systems are in place for when a sexual assault is reported to have occurred on school property, Everett said the district reports the crime to the sheriff’s office immediately.

“With respect to what we have in place for victims, our counselors and administration are available and work closely with the student and family to support their needs,” he said.

On May 16, Miranda-Nolasco was texting with a female student younger than 16. The pair decided to meet in the Meridian High School wrestling room to do homework. Miranda-Nolasco is a senior on the varsity boys wrestling team, according to the 2019 varsity boys wrestling team roster and court records.

While alone in the room, Miranda-Nolasco asked the girl if she would have sex with him, but she said she didn’t want to. Miranda-Nolasco told her “he would be gentle and she would like it,” according to court records. The girl again said no.

The victim told sheriff’s deputies she was afraid Miranda-Nolasco was going to have sex with her even though she had said no, records show.

Miranda-Nolasco sexually assaulted her, court records state. The victim “clearly expressed by words and conduct, her lack of consent,” the records state.

Resources

Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault Services: 24-hour Help Line: 360-715-1563, Email: info@dvsas.org.

Lummi Victims of Crime: 360-312-2015.

Bellingham Police: You can call anonymously at 360-778-8611, or go online at cob.org/tips.

Reporter Denver Pratt joined The Bellingham Herald in 2017 and covers courts and criminal and social justice. She has worked in Montana, Florida and Virginia.

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