Manatee High players accused of sex assault

- Two Manatee High School football players have been accused of sexually assaulting a teenage girl.

Bradenton police have charged Wesley Simeus and Gyriel Price, both 18, with two counts each of lewd and lascivious behavior.

The alleged victim is 15 years old.

"I bet that they'll learn a lesson. This is a pretty hardcore punishment getting arrested," said former Manatee High student Olive Cannarile. She was shocked to hear the two senior football players had been arrested.

Police say the incident happened over the holiday weekend.

"There's a lot of underage sex in the county with teens. Since I'm one and I know people, but it's still pretty bad. They should be focused on football and the reputation of the school," Cannarile said.

Football practice carried on Wednesday without the two seniors.

Most parents were reluctant to talk about the arrests. 

"It has nothing to do with the football program, the coaches, or the staff. It's the kids that make the decisions," said Kelly Fraser, whose son plays on the freshman team. "If they did do it, it was on them and it was a bad mistake, but it has nothing to do with Manatee High School," she said.

In a statement the school district said: 

"The School District of Manatee County has been informed that the Bradenton Police Department arrested two Manatee High School students today on felony charges. The charges are extremely serious and the district and Manatee High will cooperate fully with the Bradenton Police Department until all charges are resolved. Since this matter is an ongoing criminal investigation, we cannot comment on any details related to the investigation. We can say that this was not an incident that occurred on a school campus or during school hours."

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