Athletes accused of hazing team members in Plano
August 28, 2013 (PLANO, Ill.) (WLS) -- Five Plano High School students are accused of hazing fellow team members. All face charges of criminal sexual assault, aggravated battery and unlawful restraint.
The Plano Police Department began investigating allegations of hazing in February after a high school student's parent told police of an alleged incident inside the school's locker room. During a period of eight months, members of the football and basketball teams are accused of assaulting three teammates in the Plano High School locker room.
"They were accosted by members of the sports team, they were held down and were sexually assaulted," said Eric Weis, Kendall County State's Attorney.
Both the alleged offenders and victims are under the age of 17, and will be prosecuted under the juvenile court act. All were on football or basketball teams, police said.
Kendall County State's Attorney Eric Weis says one of the student athletes is charged with sexually assaulting the three victims while his four other teammates are accused of holding one of the victims down. Weis says the incidents would usually occur on the victims' birthdays, and while it is being called a hazing incident, Weis says the acts do not fit the legal definition of hazing.
"The legal definition of hazing is much less than what they are charged with," said Weis.
The charges resulted in immediate action from the Plano High School principal. A letter to parents was posted on the school website. It explained increased supervision in the locker room, new guidelines for coaches and teachers and more security cameras throughout the building.
Though disappointed to hear about the charges, some parents say they are encouraged by the action taken by the high school.
"My son tells me they do have more supervision, the coaches go into the locker room with the kids, and they are locked. They've installed some mirrors for visual reasons," said Mark Parris, parent.
"This is a great school. I graduated from here, it saddens me to hear about these kinds of things," said Griselda Lerma, resident.
Plano High School principal says there has not been a reported incident since last February. However, prosecutors are keeping the investigation open and believe there may be more victims.
The five students who were arrested no longer attend Plano High School. Benson declined to talk about other disciplinary measures.
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