Disturbing hazing allegations have led to rape charges in Maryland. Now, four high school football players, all sophomores, have been charged as adults and could spend decades behind bars.
A hazing scandal that rocked a Maryland high school’s football program has prosecutors calling the alleged incident astonishingly cruel and criminal.
Montgomery County State Attorney John McCarthy saying, “I’m offended by the term hazing. It’s not hazing. These are crimes. And I would caution anyone to refer to this as hazing.”
According to arrest warrants obtained by ABC News, the four 15-year-olds are being charged as adults for an alleged sexual assault against four of their freshman teammates.
The details are graphic and reportedly involve wooden broomsticks. We are told that it happened inside the freshman locker room at Damascus High School on Halloween. But, authorities say they are now looking to see if this has happened before.
Prosecutors say at least two of the suspects told police the alleged attack was part of a “tradition”.
One student says, “Even if it was tradition, it shouldn’t be tradition at all, you know, sexual assault.”
The attorney for one of the defendants maintains his client is innocent, but calls the claims that this may have been a part of a tradition not surprising.
David Felsen, Attorney for Will Daniel Smith, says, “I think the short answer is there is information out there that this has happened on other occasions in other years, yes.”
The school district says it is now also conducting its own investigation. There is a fifth student allegedly involved, but he’s been charged as a juvenile. All of the accused are now out on bond, awaiting trial.
–Elizabeth Hurr, ABC News