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Charges against one youth dismissed in Tallmadge hazing case By Ed Meyer

Beacon Journal staff writer

Charges against one youth were dismissed and a judge gave two others 40 hours of community service in connection with the Tallmadge High School football hazing case.

Special prosecutors from the Ohio Attorney General’s Office handled the resolution of the three cases today in Summit County Juvenile Court because a child of one assistant county prosecutor was a Tallmadge football player, as well as a potential witness, officials said.

In other developments, Juvenile Judge Linda Tucci Teodosio ruled that future proceedings against others charged with more serious offenses in the case will be open to area media provided that no identifying photographs or video are taken in court.

Two football players face delinquency charges of rape stemming from the alleged hazing of a 16-year-old teammate in August on school property. Police records indicate an object was placed in the victim’s rectum.

The first case resolved today involved a 16-year-old member of the team who pleaded not guilty to one count of hazing. Dan Riedl, the special prosecutor from Columbus, said an agreement had been reached to dismiss the delinquency charge after discussions with the victim’s family.

The other two football players — one 16 and one 17 — each admitted guilt to one count of hazing. In addition to community service, they were ordered by Teodosio to write a 5-page essay on the effects of bullying, to have no contact with the victim unless the victim first approaches them and to cooperate fully with authorities in all future proceedings in the pending cases.

Riedl told the judge that the state’s investigation of the hazing cases showed that the 16-year-old football player was involved by placing a tackling dummy over the victim.

The 17-year-old, Riedl said, was involved by tackling the victim.

Court officials said the rape trials in the pending cases are scheduled to begin on March 17.

The Akron Beacon Journal decided not to name the youths charged with hazing, an offense classified as a fourth-degree misdemeanor if committed by an adult.

Beacon Journal staff writer

Charges against one youth were dismissed and a judge gave two others 40 hours of community service in connection with the Tallmadge High School football hazing case.

Special prosecutors from the Ohio Attorney General’s Office handled the resolution of the three cases today in Summit County Juvenile Court because a child of one assistant county prosecutor was a Tallmadge football player, as well as a potential witness, officials said.

In other developments, Juvenile Judge Linda Tucci Teodosio ruled that future proceedings against others charged with more serious offenses in the case will be open to area media provided that no identifying photographs or video are taken in court.

Two football players face delinquency charges of rape stemming from the alleged hazing of a 16-year-old teammate in August on school property. Police records indicate an object was placed in the victim’s rectum.

The first case resolved today involved a 16-year-old member of the team who pleaded not guilty to one count of hazing. Dan Riedl, the special prosecutor from Columbus, said an agreement had been reached to dismiss the delinquency charge after discussions with the victim’s family.

The other two football players — one 16 and one 17 — each admitted guilt to one count of hazing. In addition to community service, they were ordered by Teodosio to write a 5-page essay on the effects of bullying, to have no contact with the victim unless the victim first approaches them and to cooperate fully with authorities in all future proceedings in the pending cases.

Riedl told the judge that the state’s investigation of the hazing cases showed that the 16-year-old football player was involved by placing a tackling dummy over the victim.

The 17-year-old, Riedl said, was involved by tackling the victim.

Court officials said the rape trials in the pending cases are scheduled to begin on March 17.

The Akron Beacon Journal decided not to name the youths charged with hazing, an offense classified as a fourth-degree misdemeanor if committed by an adult.

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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