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Michigan case ends in sentencing: Grand Rapids Press

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WEST OLIVE — A Coopersville teen who took part in the hazing of other teens in April and May was sentenced to a minimum six months of probation and 26 hours of community service in Ottawa County Family Court.

Zane Schaefer, 16, pleaded no contest last week to two counts of gross indecency among males and was sentenced by juvenile court Referee Barb Forman.

Schaefer is the second of four former Coopersville High School students — all former members of the junior varsity baseball team — to enter a plea for the hazing incident.

Robert Miller and Joshua Schoenborn are awaiting trial, facing the same charge as Schaefer. Scott Bush, 15, earlier was sentenced to six months of probation and 14 hours of community service.

The hazing detailed in the school and police investigation included restraining students by holding down their arms and legs, slapping victims’ stomachs to cause the skin to turn pink, applying pressure to the victim’s rectal area through their clothes using thumbs or fingers — on one occasion, a toothbrush was used to apply pressure. The allegations also included pulling down the perpetrators’ pants and putting their rear ends in the face of victims, and using their hands in the victim’s genital areas.

School officials said five students on the baseball team reported being victims.

The four teens charged were expelled from school but may reapply for admission in the 2008-2009 school year.

By Hank Nuwer

Journalist Hank Nuwer is the Alaska author of Hazing: Destroying Young Lives; Broken Pledges: The Deadly Rite of Hazing, High School Hazing, Wrongs of Passage and The Hazing Reader. In April of 2024, the Alaska Press Club awarded him first place in the Best Columnist division and Best Humorist, second place.

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 current book is Hazing: Destroying Young Lives from Indiana University Press. He is married to Malgorzata Wroblewska Nuwer of Warsaw, Poland and Fairbanks, Alaska. Nuwer is a former columnist for the Greenville (Ohio)Early Bird and former managing editor of the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner in Alaska.
Nuwer was named the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists columnist of the year in 2021 for his “After Darke” column in the Early Bird. He also won third place for the column in 2022 from the Indiana chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. He and his wife Gosia, recently of Union City, Ind., have owned 20 acres in Alaska for many years. “The move is a sort-of coming home for us,” said Nuwer. As a journalist, he’s written about the Alaskan Iditarod sled-dog race and other Alaska topics. Read his musings in his blog at Real Alaska Daily--http://realalaskadaily.com and in his weekly column "Far from Randolph" in the Winchester Star-Gazette of Randolph County, Indiana.

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