A grand jury on Thursday indicted four Maryland high schoolers accused of sexually assaulting football teammates involving a broomstick.
Damascus High School sophomores Jean Claude Abedi, Kristian Jamal Lee, Will Smith and Caleb Thorpe were previously charged with one count of first-degree rape, three counts of attempted first-degree rape and one count of conspiracy to commit first-degree rape, the Washington Post reported. The indictments added three more conspiracy charges for the 15-year-old suspects.
One of the victim’s father found out about the alleged abuse after finding his son crying in his room on Oct. 31, the same day as the assault. The father reported the incident to the school, according to ABC News.
“JC Abedi and KJ Lee grabbed (victim B) by the shoulders and threw him on the floor,” ABC News reported. “One of them held his feet down and while he was face down on the ground, his pants were pulled down and he was ‘poked in his buttocks with the wooden broom.’”
BREAKING: Two Damascus High School junior varsity football players accused of hazing teammates with a broomstick inside a school locker room have been released on bond. https://t.co/CbcSWIY3W7
— ABC 7 News – WJLA (@ABC7News) November 26, 2018
Another victim was allegedly punched in the face and stomped on, according to ABC News.
Some of the suspects and the alleged victims told officials the incident was part of a “tradition” done to junior varsity football players. School officials said they were unaware of the football program’s alleged tradition, according to The Washington Post.
Attorney Shelly Brown, who is representing Thorpe, believes her client “should be treated as a child in the justice system,” ABC News reported.
“Jean Claude is a young man who is caught up in case that is larger than him,” Daniel Wright, Abedi’s attorney, said to ABC News. “Why is the school and the state seeking to fix all of the blame only on children?”
Damascus High School is part of Montgomery County Public Schools, the largest school district in the state.
MCPS did not immediately respond to The Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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