Two 15-year-old varsity high school football players in Oregon have been spared sexual assault charges and are instead being cited for harassment after they attempted to penetrate a teammate’s rectum with a broomstick.
Investigations were launched by South Lane County School District, as well as the Cottage Grove Police Department after a freshman football player reported that he’d been harassed by two varsity football players.
Police determined that the incident did not amount to sexual harassment because the broomstick did no penetrate the victim.
The students have been cited for harassment, a Class A misdemeanor, which carries a maximum fine of $6,250 and/or one year in jail.
The Cottage Grove Sentinel reported that at least seven other students were disciplined, with some receiving suspensions, after the school investigation revealed other incidents that the district said were less severe and not related to the hazing incident.
The initial incident happened around 12:30 on Sept. 27. That night, at least 12 players were missing from Cottage Grove’s varsity football roster. Police said at least 10 players were present during the incident.
In a statement released on Oct. 24, superintendent Larry Sullivan spoke to the school’s change in policies while explaining why it had not published details of the case earlier, citing the need to protect the investigations and students.
“We did not provide more details about the students involved because we have an obligation to protect the privacy of our students, not only in this instance, but at all times,” Sullivan said in the statement.