Hickory student charged with rape

A Hickory High School student was charged with first-degree rape after an alleged incident outside an area church on Saturday.

A 14-year-old girl says she was raped by two teenage boys Saturday afternoon outside of Exodus Church on Highland Avenue in Hickory.

Hickory police say the girl knew both suspects, including Mikal Jerome Gray, a 17-year-old Hickory High School student.

The girl says Gray and a 15-year-old male suspect raped her after a gathering for youth at Exodus Church.

Hickory Police Department (HPD) Capt. Thurman Whisnant said he does not believe the gathering was a church function.

“By the end of the night, we did an investigation, which is still ongoing,” Whisnant said.

HPD arrested both boys involved in the alleged incident.

Gray is charged with first-degree rape and first-degree sexual offense. He is in the Catawba County Jail under a $300,000 secured bond.

The 15-year-old suspect has been charged in juvenile court.