High school student among suspects in alleged rape of Cleveland girl


khou.com staff, Jeremy Desel/11 News

Posted on February 18, 2011 at 11:55 PM

Updated Saturday, Feb 19 at 11:47 AM

HOUSTON – A high school student is among four men indicted in connection with the sexual assault of a middle school student in Cleveland.

Cleveland ISD police said the 12-year-old girl reported the alleged assaults to her principal’s office in early December. It has been unclear exactly when the assaults happened, but court records now suggest that the assaults occurred on Dec. 3rd. The girl told school officials she was raped by as many as 20 men and boys in an abandoned mobile home.

Four men were arrested over a week ago and the first arrest happened on Feb. 7. The suspects were identified Friday as Jared Len Cruse, 18; Isaiah Rashad Ross, 21; Timothy Daray Ellis, 19; and Rayford Tyrone Ellis, Jr., 19. All four men are from Cleveland and live within a few blocks of the trailer, authorities said.

The Cleveland Independent School District confirmed Friday that Ellis is currently enrolled in the alternative program at Douglass Academy. 

In March of last year Ellis was charged with manslaughter in connection with the shooting death of 17-year-old Tevin Morgan. The death occurred in August of 2008 when Ellis was 17. The case is still pending and Ellis was free on bond.

Cruse is a graduate of the Douglass Academy, and his graduation photo is still posted on the district web site.

He is also familiar to law enforcement officers. He is accused of a home invasion on Jan. 21 where a Sheppard woman was shot. The next day Cruse and another suspect were arrested and charged with aggravated robbery at an area grocery store.  Cruse allegedly put a gun to the store clerks head and demanded money.

Ross is the son of Cleveland ISD School Board Vice President Billy Ross, Jr. The elder Ross is also a City of Cleveland employee.

All four suspects were being held in the Liberty County Jail Friday.

Police said more arrests are expected in the near future.

People in the community believe that some students from Cleveland High School will be charged in the case.

The school district said their police department is working close with the city police department in the investigation.

If convicted, the four suspects could face up to life in prison.