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Prosecutor's office says no evidence of hazing in Crestwood incident, recommends no charges be filed

Posted at 3:17 PM, Nov 15, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-15 15:27:58-05

The Portage County Prosecutor's Office has recommended no charges be filed and has concluded their review of an investigation into an incident involving a Crestwood High School freshman football player.

According to authorities, the freshman was allegedly dragged, punched and kicked while in a sleeping bag at an overnight event at a sponsored football team activity on July 28.  

According to the prosecutor's office, the police investigation indicated no one was seriously hurt during the incident and furthermore "two coaches at the event, upon becoming aware of the incident, checked on the victim and found him to be giggling and he stated that he was OK."

The prosecutor's office said the incident did not constitute hazing.

The investigation revealed the alleged assailants were fellow freshmen and friends of the player, prosecutor's said.

During the course of the first investigation, a second investigation was launched by police and reviewed by the prosecutor's office regarding a "contest" that the school became aware of in which members of the football team exposed and compared the size of their genitals on several different occasions.

The police investigation indicated participants "were not forced or coerced to participate, and that no touching of the genitals occurred," prosecutor's said.

The investigations prompted the school administration to suspended all high school football operations.

The prosecutor's office stated the following regarding the incident: 

Based on the facts and circumstances obtained in your investigation, this "contest" involved nothing sexual in nature, no sexual conduct or contact occurred, and no proof of any dissemination of a nudity-oriented material or performance was found. At most this activity may have constituted Public Indecency (ORC 2907.09, Misdemeanor 4). However, that statute requires that exposition of the person's private parts must be "viewed by and affront others..." This does not appear to the case here when the "others" are fellow members of the football team who are voluntarily participating in the activity.

The prosecutor's office said they recommend any disciplinary action be handled by the school administration regarding any of the players who may have been involved.