CLEVELAND — Four football players from Berea-Midpark High School are facing charges after an investigation into what's being called a hazing incident at a football camp they attended at Case Western Reserve University back in June.
According to juvenile court documents obtained by News 5, there were eleven victims involved in the hazing incident, which took place between June 10 and 12. Three of the four suspects were juveniles, and the court documents list their ages as 15, 17 and 17 years old. An 18-year-old man also faces charges.
The Berea City School District said in a statement that the team members and their coaches attended a football camp at Case Western Reserve University in June.
The Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's Office said back on June 18, the Berea Police Department was notified by the Ohio Department of Public Safety Schools Hotline that a "possible sexual assault and hazing incident" had occurred, and the anonymous caller said it happened when the football team was at the camp at CWRU.
An investigation by the Cleveland Police Department's Sex Crimes Unit, with help from Berea and CWRU police, found that "multiple victims were sexually assaulted in a dormitory as part of a hazing incident amongst team members."
Jabriel Williams, 18, faces seven charges, including rape, sexual battery and kidnapping.
Two 17-year-old suspects face charges that also include rape and sexual battery, while a 15-year-old suspect faces misdemeanor charges of hazing and unlawful restraint.
Case Western Reserve University, where the alleged incident took place, released the following statement Thursday:
"We are horrified by the conduct described in these charges, and devastated for the victims and their families. Upon learning of these allegations earlier this summer, we began a detailed investigation of our policies and practices involving overnight youth camps where our university staff are not providing direct supervision of the individuals staying in our residence halls. As much as we want to welcome organizations that wish to use our campus facilities, our highest priority always must be the safety and well-being of our minor guests. In that context, we are seriously considering suspending all residential camps that do not directly involve our own trained staff."