CORVALLIS, Ore. — Three of the six high school football players charged in an Oregon hazing incident have entered the juvenile equivalent of guilty pleas that do not require detention.
The boys from Philomath High School entered admissions Friday to misdemeanor harassment charges, the Corvallis Gazette-Times reported (http://bit.ly/2cqaExV ).
Benton County District Attorney John Haroldson said the hazing occurred when 11 freshman players had intimate parts of their bodies targeted during an initiation.
He said the upperclassmen charged in the case were likely the victims of hazing when they were freshmen.
“I am inviting (the youths) to become a part of the solution and reconcile with the victims in a respectful manner in efforts to end this tradition,” Haroldson said. “The indicators are there that this did not start in July and that it’s something that has existed.”
The teens who acknowledged wrongdoing accepted accountability agreements involving counseling and community service. The agreements do not require detention.
The other three players are set to appear in juvenile court later this month.
Meanwhile, a 22-year-old volunteer assistant coach faces a misdemeanor charge of criminal mistreatment in connection with the hazing that occurred during a conditioning camp in July.
Benton County Judge Locke Williams said he was disappointed to learn that some of those accused have been expelled from school and hopes it’s not permanent.
“This was an unfortunate incident, but in some ways it’s good this has come to light,” the judge said. “I’m sure it’s not unique to Philomath High School, but it needs to stop.”
The Philomath School Board canceled the varsity football season last week and the team’s coaches are on administrative leave.
Information from: Gazette-Times, http://www.gtconnect.com