Five college football players from Wheaton College have been charged with aggravated battery, mob action, and unlawful restraint. The alleged incident that resulted in the charges happened last year and the victim’s attorney says the brutal attack goes far beyond what some are referring to as a “hazing” incident.
According to details released by law enforcement, the players grabbed the victim, a freshman, from his dorm room. They duct taped his legs and arms, put a pillowcase over his head and put him in a vehicle in which there was “Muslim” music playing. The victim was brought to a baseball field and beaten. The defendants threatened to sodomize him with a metal pipe before they left him there.
The victim managed to get to a hospital, where he was diagnosed with labral tears in both of his shoulders. Since the incident, he has undergone three surgeries because of his injuries.
The school conducted its own investigation into the incident last year. A statement from one of the defendant’s family said the players were exonerated by the school’s investigation.
Wheaton College – who’s football team is one of the top-ranking teams in Division III – claims they took “corrective actions” against the players but would not say what those actions were.
The victim’s attorney disputes the school’s claim, saying the only discipline the defendants received was that they had to write a paper about the importance of treating others nicely and do some community service. The attorney said this punishment was imposed by the NCAA, not the college. But the NCAA claims it did not come from them.
In an interview, the victim stated that the ordeal “has had a devastating effect on my life.”
Upon hearing of the charges, Attorney Neal Goldstein commented, “The attack on this victim was barbaric. The fact that the school did nothing and these men have been walking around free for a year while the victim has had to endure the physical and emotional pain from what the defendants did to him is totally unacceptable. Not only do they have to answer for what they did, but the college needs to answer for their lack of action.”