Four Maryland teenagers have been indicted on charges of assaulting football teammates in a high school locker room.
The Washington Post reports that the suspects, all 15, had earlier been charged with five counts each: one count of first-degree rape, three counts of attempted first-degree rape and one count of conspiracy to commit first-degree rape. The indictments add conspiracy charges for each suspect, according to the Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office.
The four suspects — Jean Claude Abedi, Kristian Jamal Lee, Will Smith and Caleb Thorpe — played on the junior varsity squad at Damascus High School in Damascus, Md., as did the four alleged victims in the case. The attack occurred on Oct. 31, authorities say; the victims were assaulted with broomsticks.
At least two of the suspects and two of the victims told authorities that the purported incidents are part of a known hazing practice among junior varsity football players at Damascus High, according to charging documents.
When one victim asked three attackers to stop, police assert in the charging papers, the assailants replied that it was a “tradition.”
Officials with Montgomery County Public Schools say they are cooperating with police, are committed to student safety and were not told of any tradition of assaults in the Damascus football program. They said students must be supervised during school-sponsored activities, and that they will look into issues of supervision at Damascus High as soon as police complete their work.