- Four 15-year-olds on the junior varsity football team at Damascus High School in Maryland are accused of sexually assaulting four teammates.
- The boys allegedly tried to sodomize their younger teammates with broomsticks.
- The suspects allegedly told victims it was a “tradition” that had “started generations ago.”
- The teens were released on bond after being charged with one count of first-degree rape, three counts of attempted rape, and one count of conspiracy to commit rape.
Four high school football players in Maryland have been charged with rape as adults after being accused of sexually assaulting four teammates with a broomstick during what’s described as a locker room “hazing” incident.
The four teens from Damascus High School in Damascus have been released on bond after being charged with one count of first-degree rape, three counts of attempted rape, and one count of conspiracy to commit rape, Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy said, according NBC News.
The four teens, whom INSIDER is not identifying, were part of Damascus High School’s junior varsity team, The Baltimore Sun reported.
A fifth teammate is also accused of participating in at least one incident. The teammate is being charged as a juvenile but is also identified as one of the four victims, according to charging documents seen by NBC News.
Sources told WJLA that the students are accused of using a wooden broomstick to sodomize victims.
The school administration called the attacks “upsetting and unacceptable,” and said the attacks happened after school in a boys’ locker room.
Prosecutors allege one victim was held down by suspects while he was sodomized.
Two other victims were violently attacked but were able to fight off the suspects before they “got the broom,” prosecutors said.
A fourth victim said the suspects cut the top off of a broom and “stabbed” him on the buttocks. The fourth victim also told police that the suspects told him the attacks were “tradition.”
The alleged rapes and attempted rapes happened on October 31, and Damascus High School’s principal reported the alleged assaults to police on November 1, court documents show.
One suspect told investigators that these incidents of hazing “started generations ago,” and that freshman were targeted, according to prosecutors.
A defence attorney for one of the four accused teens called the alleged incidents hazing “that went to extremes,” according to The Baltimore Sun.
McCarthy said citing tradition was not a defence for the teens.
“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. These boys were victims of criminal acts,” McCarthy said. “They were not victims of hazing, they were victims of first-degree rapes.”
The four suspected teens being charged as adults were released on $US20,000 bond on Tuesday and are not allowed to contact one another or step on the premises of Damascus High School. The status of the fifth student being charged is unclear.
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