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A Better Chance? To what?

A Better Chance
Glastonbury, Connecticut
Penetration with a pen and brutal beatings
June 2007 (final sentencing)

Many victims were beaten over a long period of time in this residential home for minority youth with potential for success. One was given the choice of a beating or being sodomized with a pen. Three teens were sentenced to jail terms of five years (needing to serve nine months or less) and one, who testified against the other three, was put on probation for three years. All accepted plea agreements (the three pleaded no contest) and otherwise could have received far tougher sentencing on numerous charges. The no contest was entered by counsel for Jeff Utobor, Silvester Baez and Pedro Reyes. The fourth teen given probation was Christopher Lewis. Baez pleaded no contest to conspiracy to commit first-degree sexual assault. Utobor was accused of inserting the object while the other two held down a victim. A resident director voluntarily left his position when the charges became known but was not implicated in any of the events.

By Hank Nuwer

Hank Nuwer is the Indiana-based author of Broken Pledges: The Deadly Rite of Hazing, High School Hazing, Wrongs of Passage and The Hazing Reader. He has written articles or columns on hazing for the Sunday Times of India, Toronto Globe & Mail, Harper's Magazine, Orlando Sentinel, The Chronicle of Higher Education and the New York Times Sunday Magazine. His new book is Hazing: Destroying Young Lives from Indiana University Press.

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