Three former high school football players legally admitted Tuesday to harassing a fellow teammate during a hazing ritual called “No Gay Thursday,” but did not concede to using a broomstick to anally rape the victim.
The three teenagers from Conestoga High School (located in the suburbs of Philadelphia, Penn.) were at first charged with assault, conspiracy, unlawful restraint, possessing an instrument of crime and other related offenses, according to PhillyVoice.
The Chester County District Attorney Thomas Hogan officially accused the three players of violating the freshman player’s rectum with the other end of a broom in March.
Now, the three students, their attorneys and the District Attorney’s Office, agreed to drop all of those charges, except for harassment, which is considered a criminal summary offense.
“When the victim refused to clean and attempted to leave the locker room, he was shoved, pushed and briefly held down by the three charged juveniles in an effort to get him to clean the locker room,” a joint statement from the involved parties read, reports PhillyVoice.
“One of the charged juveniles briefly poked the victim with a broom stick in the leg. The intent of the charged juveniles was to scare the victim and coerce him to cooperate with other team members in the joint cleanup of the locker room, and not to do the victim any physical harm,” the statement continued.
Hogan originally said in March when the charges were first introduced that no coaches were present during the incident and that no one came to the victim’s rescue as he screamed in pain, according to Philly Voice. In fact, the original statements from the District Attorney’s Office were noticeably different than the statement released Tuesday.
The latest statement also said the victim only reported the incident to his father months later because he was being charged by authorities with an unrelated offense.
The “No Gay Thursday” was reportedly a weekly ritual where activities and actions usually considered “gay” or homoerotic were not only allowed, but even encouraged. Such customs included upperclassmen laying their genitals on their fellow teammates’ heads, players rubbing up against each other in a sexual fashion (“grinding”), and younger players being forced to disrobe the elder teenagers.
Soon after the charges were announced, the head coach resigned and school district officials removed the rest of the Conestoga football coaching staff.
The three players are being charged as juveniles, thus specific details from court records are inaccessible.
“The victim, the charged juveniles and their respective families all would like to the opportunity to move on with their lives. We all hope never to see an incident like this in Chester County again,” the joint statement concludes.
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