***READER DISCRETION IS ADVISED***
Posts about real school tragedy, crime and/or events can be upsetting.
This case made me think of a Stephen King quote, “We make up horrors to help us cope with the real ones.”
Researching and writing about creepy people and disgusting behavior is worth it when someone who’s read one of my stories or blog posts notices questionable behavior connected to a school and says or does something about it.
Thank you for taking the time to read my post. Keep your eyes open and never assume children are safe at school. If something seems amiss, it probably is. Say something.
BLOG POST #97: This week, I’m sharing research on a specific criminal case involving high school basketball players.
A freshman went on an overnight trip to a school sponsored basketball tournament and ended up in the hospital.
Locker Room Secrets
It had been a longstanding rite of passage for freshman basketball players to receive a ‘racking in’ from the older players. In other words, they received a beating.
Players routinely had not reported the abuse because they didn’t want to be labeled a ‘snitch.’ That year, one brave boy told the coach about the older boys’ conduct.
While out of town, the coaches left the team unchaperoned to purchase groceries. It was during that window of opportunity the older players retaliated against the brave boy for reporting them.
The older boys beat four younger ones with a pool cue. If that wasn’t bad enough, two players held down the boy who reported them while a third upperclassman sodomized him with a pool cue.
When the coaches returned, they found the boy lying in a pool of blood. They took him to a medical center where he was treated and released.
The medical center, not the coaches, reported the incident to the proper authorities. State law mandated school employees report suspected child sexual abuse.
The next morning, the rape victim was taken to a hospital where surgery was performed to repair his damaged colon, prostate, and bladder. Let that sink in for a moment. The rape was so aggressive the boy’s bladder was damaged.
Short Term Consequence vs. Lifetime of Trauma
Three teens were arrested and charged with rape.
Two coaches and the director of athletics were arrested and charged with failure to report child sexual abuse.
There was a motion to move the teens’ trial to the adult court. The judge denied the motion. He stated the teens would have a better chance of rehabilitation in the juvenile system.
The County criminal judge said, “It’s hard for us to believe what a human being can do to another human being.”
The two teens that held the younger boy down were found guilty of aggravated assault and sentenced to sixty days in a juvenile facility.
The teen who committed the rape was found guilty of aggravated rape and remained in a juvenile facility for less than one year.
The judge dropped all charges against the coach and assistant coach because the language of the law stated school employees were mandated to report child sexual abuse if committed by a member of the child’s household. The law doesn’t address the moral obligation to report the crime. The law has since been updated.
The athletic director resigned from his position and agreed to 10-hours of community service working at a food bank.
If you thought this case is an isolated incident, you should also read this post: High School Hazing
What do you think about this case? Join the conversation on the website. We talk about the sensitive subject of crimes occurring at or connected to schools. Your relevant comments are always welcome on the Research Blog.
Do you know of a school crime you’d like to share? Email me so we can discuss the details.
Thanks for reading!