10 Middletown HS Football Players Charged over Sexual Assault, Hazing Allegations

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 22, 2022

The football stadium at Westfield High School is shown Wednesday, May 11, 2016 in Westfield, Ind. The school, 25 miles north of Indianapolis, agreed in 2014 to a 10-year, $1.2 million naming rights deal with a health care provider, with the money used to help build a 5,000-seat high school football stadium that opened last year.(AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
AP Photo/Michael Conroy

The Dauphin County (Pennsylvania) District Attorney has announced charges against 10 Middletown High School students stemming from alleged sexual assaults and hazing by members of the football team.

According to Gina Martinez of CBS News, an investigation began after a video posted to social media appeared to show a player being sexually assaulted during a team practice on Aug. 11. A police report was filed on Aug. 12, leading to a monthlong investigation in which more than 80 people were interviewed.

The police determined six students were assaulted over the past year, with the victims all between 14 and 16 years old.

The alleged August assault took place in the team's turf room with no adult supervision for 23 minutes. According to the district attorney, "police learned that three other students were also assaulted over the last year during various incidents, with at least one incident occurring at a residence."

Two 17-year-olds were identified as the main perpetrators in all of the assaults, and they were charged with multiple juvenile counts of criminal attempt to commit involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, indecent assault, unlawful restraint, simple assault and hazing.

"This investigation did not involve just hazing or 'boys will be boys' conduct," Chief Deputy District Attorney Jennifer Gettle said in a statement. "Rather, two of these individuals committed repeated sexual assaults and encouraged others to participate under the guise of hazing."

The eight other students face varied charges, including unlawful restraint, simple assault and hazing.

Gettle also indicated all the cases will be handled by the juvenile system because each suspect is under 18 years old.

Middletown Area School District Superintendent Dr. Chelton Hunter said in a statement that the district wants to "express our disappointment and concern for the actions of these students."