Central High School athlete facing several rape charges

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Published: Dec. 1, 2022 at 3:21 PM CST|Updated: Dec. 2, 2022 at 5:59 PM CST
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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - An Evansville teenager is facing a long list of charges, including six counts of rape, sexual battery, battery on a person less than 14 years old, and strangulation.

18-year-old Luke Pokorney was booked into jail shortly after 10 a.m. Thursday.

He was in court Friday.

Bond was set at $250,000 or $25,000 cash, but has since been released on bond. He’s due back in court Wednesday.

There are several affidavits for Pokorney including six victims. The documents show those incidents happened between April 2020 and July 2022.

Records show he has played football, basketball and baseball at Central High School.

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“There’s so many clear facts in each case that are undeniable,” said Vanderburgh County Sheriff Dave Wedding.

Wedding says the case was brought to their attention, along with the Department of Child Services, by a high school counselor.

“We were fortunate that we had a strong counselor that was talking to a student, and this student divulged what had happened to her,” Wedding said.

After that, Wedding says other victims came forward. He calls this case a “slam dunk” for the sheriff’s office because of how similar all their stories were.

“He has a method of operation that is so similar, it just makes it much more believable for each victim as they tell their story,” Wedding said.

That method, according to arrest affidavits, included Pokorney getting girls he was dating or that he knew to a private location.

He’s also accused of holding girls down against their will, choking them and in some cases, performing sexual acts on them while they were sleeping.

Wedding says victims of rape or sexual abuse often don’t come forward because they are embarrassed or scared, but he wishes someone would’ve come forward sooner.

“If the first victim would’ve stepped up and notified someone, we might not have five additional victims,” he said. “So if you’re the victim of a heinous crime like this, please tell someone immediately.”

14 News reached out to the Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation on Thursday, and officials sent the following statement:

“All inquiries should be directed to the Evansville Police Department. Due to the ongoing investigation, it would be inappropriate for us to comment on a non-school related arrest.”

We heard from them again on Friday:

“In the best interest of all parties involved, the individual facing charges will not be returning to Central High School. We are fortunate to have options for learning that do not include the traditional brick and mortar setting.”