A Pennsylvania judge has ordered Long Island high school students accused of hazing fellow football players to be tried as juveniles, angering victim families.
The Wayne Independent in Honesdale, Pa., reports that a closed hearing was held Wednesday in the case of three Mepham, N.Y., High School football players accused of sodomizing teammates at Camp Wayne For Girls in Preston Township.
“The outcome s–ks!” shouted the aunt of one of the alleged victims. “It’s such a cop out,” said the woman’s sister, Sue, wiping tears from her face. The hearing was held to determine if the accused players, ages 16, 16 and 17, would be tried as adults for allegedly sodomizing three junior varsity players with broomsticks, pine cones, and golf balls in a hazing rite in August.
Family members of the alleged victims said a teen who testified against his co-defendants initially participated in the hazing but tried to stop it after he believed it got out of hand.
Family members of the alleged victims lined the courthouse lawn with signs reading such things as “Not A ‘Minor’ Crime,” “Adult Time For Adult Crime” and “Sodomy Doesn’t Equal Probation.” Many said the accused teens should receive jail time because the attacks were “premeditated.”
“They are adults. It was an adult crime. It happened over and over again,” said a relative of one of the alleged victims, identifying herself as Patty. Of the alleged victims, she said their “whole lives have been ruined.”
Some picketers said coaches should be held more accountable because of the lack of supervision at the camp. An attorney for the coaches disagreed. “They did nothing wrong. They’re not responsible,” said attorney James Rosenthal.