Five Wheaton College Football Players Suspended, Face Felony Charges For Hazing Freshman
Five football players from Wheaton College in Illinois have been suspended from practices and games and are facing felony charges for allegedly hazing a freshman teammate in 2016.
Wheaton College Football Players hazing news
“The players have been deemed inactive for practice or competition by the college’s administration and coaching staff,” college spokeswoman LaTonya Taylor said in an email.
The alleged incident occurred on March 19, 2016, when the players entered the 19-year-old freshman’s dorm room, held him down and tied his hands and feet with duct tape.
According to the victim’s account, he kicked his legs and screamed at the players to stop, but nobody in the dorm — students or school employees — intervened.
The freshman then told investigators that he was thrown in the back of a vehicle and pinned down again while his teammates played Middle Eastern music and made derogatory comments about Muslims. The victim said his captors told him he was being kidnapped by Muslims who wanted to have sex with goats and that he would be their “goat” for the night, according to the Chicago Tribune. Investigators also said the boy told them that the players took off all his clothes and repeatedly attempted to insert an object into his rectum.
The victim then told investigators that his teammates drove him to a park located off campus and dragged him onto a baseball field. The players then proceeded to toss dirt on him, took his cellphone and left him half-naked on the field.
James Cooksey, Kyler Kregel, Noah Spielman, Benjamin Pettway and Samuel TeBos were charged Monday with aggravated battery, mob action and unlawful restraint. A judge set bonds at $50,000 for each player.
The Thunder, a Division III program ranked fourth in the nation, are scheduled to play at Elmhurst College on Saturday. Three of the five accused athletes played in last week’s victory over Carthage College.
The Tribune reported that Kregel, 21, turned himself in to local police Tuesday afternoon. He arrived at the station with his parents and an attorney and was given an Oct. 23 date for his arraignment. The other three players are expected to turn themselves in to authorities this week.
Wheaton Police Chief Jim Volpe said Tuesday that the investigation took long primarily because the alleged incident occurred near the end of the academic year, thus many people authorities were seeking to interrogate were gone during the summer.
ABC news reported that Paul Darrah of the DuPage County State’s Attorney’s Office told them the most serious charge — aggravated battery — carries a maximum sentence of two to five years in prison.
The only punishment some of the player have reportedly received thus far, however, are 50 hours of community service and an eight-page essay about their actions.