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Reports document widespread hazing among Molalla High team

By KYLE IBOSHI, kgw.com

Police reports obtained by KGW Newschannel 8 suggest hazing of younger teammates was widespread at Molalla High School.

The Oregon State police reports were compiled as part of a year-and-a-half investigation into allegations of sexual abuse among teammates on the Molalla High School varsity boys basketball team.

When asked by a detective if touching private areas among teammates is a common thing, one Molalla player responded, “It has been since I’ve been in high school.” The report describes abuse on the boys’ basketball team and track team.

Background: Molalla players could face jail time

The Molalla River School District Superintendent says he reported the abuse to state child welfare after allegations surfaced that players on the Molalla High School basketball team sexually abused a freshman teammate.

Police reports suggest, the abuse occurred on road trips to the coast and central Oregon in December of 2006. Police reports confirm, two teammates were involved in several incidents targeting a freshman teammate.

The reports indicate the victim was so terrified, he slept holding a pocket knife to defend himself from the older teammates.

The two accused along with three juvenile teammates were sentenced to jail time in Deschutes County for their role in the abuse. They are awaiting sentencing for a similar crime in Clatsop County.

Since the attack, the Molalla River School District has implemented a strict new policy on road trips. Coaches are now asked to be seated among students throughout the bus. Overnight trips must be approved by the school board.

Superintendent Wayne Kostur explains, “It reinforces that we just need to be diligent all the time about supervising students in all activities, not just athletics, all activities.”

Prosecutors fear there could be other victims who haven’t come forward. As one player explained to detectives, hazing has “been a long-standing game at Molalla High School.”

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. 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. He is married to Malgorzata Wroblewska Nuwer of Warsaw, Poland and Fairbanks, Alaska. Nuwer, former columnist for the Greenville (Ohio)Early Bird, finished a stint as managing editor of the Celina Daily Standard to accept a new position as 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.

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