YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections
(Page 2 of 2)

'Spur Posse' Goes on the Defensive : Lakewood: Members of high school clique don't deny tabulating their sexual conquests. But they contend that all the encounters, for which eight have been arrested, were consensual.


"But one of the primary motivations for rape is a need for power, for control. And when you have some kind of competition for points--when you're getting more esteem for more points--you have a real prime motive for somebody to force someone to do what they don't want to do."

Even so, some Spurs spoke with anger and bitterness about the charges being made against their members. Dana Belman complained that his brother, Kris, faces one charge of oral copulation--the first time he has ever been charged with a crime--and is being made to look "like some big-time gangster."

"I don't know about the other jokers, but he has one charge, which was consensual," Belman said. "It's not fair."

Shehan, despite claiming to have the leading point total among Spur members, said he is unconcerned about the possibility of his own arrest. "I'm not worried at all," he said. "If they do come after me, I'll just sue . . . for slander. Everybody likes sex. . . . I haven't done anything wrong."

One 15-year-old ninth-grader at Lakewood High School said she feels sorry for some of her friends in the Spurs because she knows girls who sought them out and bragged about sleeping with them.

Yet the boys' side to the case was never sought by investigators, she said.

"They didn't question the guys--they just arrested them," she said.

Blaydes, one of the sheriff's two lead investigators in the case, acknowledged that authorities have not probed the backgrounds of the girls to determine whether they willingly slept with Spurs members. But legally, that is not an issue, he said.

"It just isn't appropriate for us to look into the backgrounds of these girls," he said.

At Lakewood High on Friday, television crews continued to descend on the campus, and every student seemed to be carrying a newspaper, one freshman said.

One Spur, 18-year-old Damon Walty, seemed stressed by all the attention. "I know the girls do it willingly. That's a fact," he said. "I think people are blowing this thing way out of proportion."

Another Spur, a 16-year-old, stood outside the home of one of the suspects, waiting for the family. He described the group's members as regular teen-agers who hung out together, lifted weights, played football and attended parties. They kept score of their conquests, but the girls were just as much to blame, he said.

"They have sex with all these guys and expect to be boyfriend and girlfriend, and then they're not and they claim rape," he said. "All of these guys are good kids. They're all innocent. We're not a gang. We don't shoot anybody."

Standing at the door of his Volkswagen, he acknowledged that he might soon join his friends in jail. "If I do, I do," he said. "It doesn't matter to me because I'm innocent."

Los Angeles Times Articles