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Police Deem Hazing Incidents ‘Non-Criminal’ in Nature

Andy Berg

Police will not pursue criminal charges after completing two investigations into allegations of hazing among football players at a Seattle-area high school.

During an initial investigation last spring, an 18-year-old student at Bothell High School told policer offers that he’d overheard football players describe a club called the “Rape Squad,” in which players would yell the words while other players restrained a teammate, pulled down the teammate’s pants and fondled or poked the teammate’s genitals.

Police reports obtained by The Seattle Times show that the investigation was shut down within days, with resource officers citing no evidence of a crime.

However, a second investigation began last month after similar behavior was reported at a summer football camp, which the players said was referred to as “Camp Bothellhood.”

Three players, aged 14 and 15, described being poked while clothed at the camp but none of the players or their parents chose to press charges.

Garrett Ware, the police officer in charge of the investigation, wrote that the behavior was viewed as “horseplay” and some of the alleged victims jokingly reciprocated.

“All parties involved indicated that, although highly inappropriate and potentially criminal, the behavior was done without malicious or criminal intent or sexual motivation,’’ wrote Ware.

The Northshore School District imposed unspecified student discipline and school sanctions, including potential cancellation of some overnight playoff road trips this season, spokesperson Lisa Youngblood Hall said in a statement, which was reported by the Times.

Youngblood also said that head football coach Tom Bainter will be instituting plans to “ensure a safe environment.”

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