Court date set for three teens accused of emailing bomb threats to Orange High School

PEPPER PIKE, Ohio - The three teens accused of making several bombs threats via email to Orange High School will appear in court next month.

The male students, ages 16 and 17, will be arraigned in court at the Cuyahoga County Juvenile Justice Center 10 a.m. on Feb. 13. They each face 17 counts of inducing panic, two counts of telecommunications harassment and one count of possessing criminal tools.

In November, Orange High School was closed for days after a series of what the FBI called sophisticated email threats. The school system said the emails referred to a colorless, organic explosive called PETN, which has been tied to terrorist attacks.

While the school was searched by police and the FBI multiple times, police found the threats were not credible. When classes resumed after three-straight days of cancellations, police officers were stationed around the school and a backpack ban was in effect.

On Friday, the Orange City School District released the following statement about the arrests:

"The Orange School District is aware of the charges filed against those involved with last November's threats on the high school. We will not have any additional comments to share at this time regarding these charges as the police and the county prosecutor move forward with this matter. The three students charged have not been in school for some time and have all received from the school district the maximum consequence allowed by Ohio Revised Code, which is expulsion. The due process rights of students does allow them to seek an appeal to the expulsion.

These students were identified in-part due to the hard work of the Pepper Pike Police and the Orange High School administration. We would like to especially recognize the efforts of School Resource Officer Todd Bennett of the Pepper Pike Police and Orange High School Principal Dr. Paul Lucas. Their familiarity with our students assisted with the investigation of those involved."

Juvenile prosecutor Michael Horn told NewsChannel5 on Thursday that the boys could be charged as adults. Horn said the teen suspects used a website that made the emails untraceable. The FBI was able to collect evidence during a search of one of the teens' house on West Orange Hill Circle in Pepper Pike in December.

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