10 High School Football Players Charged In Hazing And Sexual Assault Case
Ten Pennsylvania teens from Middletown Area High School were charged with sexual assault after a hazing video surfaced online. According to TMZ, the phone footage shows football players assaulting three of their teammates during practice. Chelton Hunter, the school district's superintendent, had sent a letter to parents concerning the situation on August 22nd.
"Cell phone video, taken by players, shows a group of students restraining two of their teammates and using a muscle therapy gun and another piece of athletic equipment to poke the buttock areas of the students who were on the ground," he wrote. "The video shows players fully clothed. It did not appear that any student’s body was physically penetrated. The video is difficult to watch as this is a completely unacceptable, offensive, and highly inappropriate act."
“To be clear, Middletown Area School District will not tolerate hazing, is committed to investigating all reported incidents of hazing, and is actively engaged in pursuing discipline for the students responsible for violating our policies in this case,” the superintendent continued. “… We are addressing this matter with the utmost sense of urgency to ensure that our school environment is free from behaviors that are meant to demean, humiliate or harm other students. Once all investigations are concluded, the District will be working to develop additional protocols and supports to promote a positive school climate and culture for all students.”
Authorities found that no adults were present at the scene, and that the assaults occurred over a 23-minute time span. In their investigations, the District Attorney's office found three other cases of student-athlete assault during the year, one of which is believed to have taken place in a residence. Authorities also confirmed all six victims are between 14 and 16 years of age.
As a result of the video release, the team's head coach resigned within days and the year's football season was canceled. The DA states that two of the charged students, aged 17, were charged with multiple counts of criminal attempt to commit involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, indecent assault, unlawful restraint, simple assault, and hazing. Two other defendants, aged between 16 and 17, were charged with simple assault, unlawful restraint, and hazing.
The case will be tried in juvenile court.