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The Natrona County Sheriff's Office on Friday quelled rampant allegations in social media that a girl was sexually assaulted on a school bus last week in the Bar Nunn area.

The reports about the alleged incident on social media were wrong, Sgt. Aaron Shatto said at a press conference.

"This incident was first reported to the Natrona County Sheriff's Office as a sexual assault. However, the facts and evidence gathered during the investigation confirmed that no sexual assault occurred," Shatto said.

On Saturday, the Natrona County School District Chronicle Facebook page posted a report that a young girl was allegedly sexually assaultedon a bus on Feb. 11.

Sunday, Dean Broughton of the district’s student support services office confirmed an incident happened and said the district was cooperating with the Wyoming Department of Family Services and the Natrona County Sheriff’s Office in the investigation.

The NCSD was suspending any investigation of its own until these other agencies had completed their work, Broughton said.

Shatto said Friday that the investigation is nearly over, and the sheriff's office normally does not comment on juvenile matters. But the office wanted to stop rumors and reassure the public.

"This case involved assaultive behavior, most commonly associated with bullying," Shatto said. "While this does not minimize the seriousness of the investigation or actions of the juveniles involved, we want the public to know there was no sexual assault on a school bus in their community."

The Natrona County School District cooperated fully with the investigators, he added.

"As is the case in any investigation, it is important that all the facts get gathered and people involved be interviewed before any conclusions are made," Shatto said.

"With the social media attention to this incident, we also felt it was important to inform the public of some of our findings in order to alleviate any fears that may have arisen due to those social media posts," he said.

When the investigation is complete, the sheriff's office will turn over its findings to the Natrona County District Attorney for further review.

Shatto declined to take questions after the press conference.

The girl's family, who wish to remain unidentified, sent this message to K2 Radio on Thursday.

“We are determined to work with the Sheriff’s department [and] the Natrona County School District and transportation department to ensure that all children are safe while going and returning from school,” the family said. “We appreciate the thoughts and prayers of everyone who has responded and we continue to ask for your support as we move forward for our daughter and making changes within the school system.”

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