In Plano, Illinois, just west of Chicago, five boys from a local high school have been arrested and charged with criminal sexual assault, as well as aggravated battery, and unlawful restraint. The charges result from alleged incidents against three fellow football and basketball team members at Plano High School. However, there could be more victims and perpetrators.
The incidents, which are alleged to have occurred in August of last year and February of this year, seem to have been part of a hazing ritual. According to Kendall County State’s Attorney Eric Weis, the crimes, which have been under investigation since a parent went to law enforcement in February, appear to have been attempts to control and shame players, and not sexually motivated. He said that the incidents involved several boys pinning a victim down while another boy assaulted him. Because all of the players were under 17 at the time, their cases are being handled in juvenile court.
Weis has indicated that the extent of these crimes could be much broader, and involve more perpetrators and victims. Both he and Plano Police Chief Steve Eaves said that the investigation is continuing, and ask anyone with information to contact the Plano Police Department.
Meanwhile, the Plano High School principal has assured parents that the school is safe. He says they have taken steps to ensure that coaches are always present in the locker rooms, and that there is greater visibility of staff throughout the school. He says they have also improved the school’s camera surveillance systems.
Although these alleged incidents go above and beyond most cases of bullying, they highlight the importance of strong adult supervision in all school areas, inside and out. Physical assault of any sort is a crime, whether it occurs in school, on the street, in the home, or anywhere else.
Chicago Sun Times, “Five Plano High students charged in sexual assault of teammates” Steve Lord, Aug. 28, 2013
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Plano student athletes accused of sexually assaulting teammates