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Utah school goes by book in sexual hazing case

Three high school football players face sex charges
Hazing incident at East High School
By Jason Bergreen
The Salt Lake Tribune

Three East High School football players have been kicked off the team after authorities filed criminal charges alleging the sophomores sexually assaulted another player during a hazing.
East High School football coach Aaron Whitehead confirmed Wednesday that sexual assault charges were filed after the players allegedly attacked another player three weeks ago. The alleged assault occurred in a locker room after practice, he said.
Whitehead said he could not talk about details of the case but said no type of hazing is tolerated at East High School.
“We don’t condone this activity,” he said.
The player who was attacked was not hospitalized and still plays on the team, Whitehead said.
Whitehead tried to elaborate on the severity of the assault by saying, “When you think of the worst [type of sexual assault], it was not the worst. It’s still a terrible thing.”
Whitehead said the three boys, who play on the sophomore football team, were suspended as soon as they were identified. They were referred to school administrators and a campus police officer conducted an investigation.
When the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office filed criminal charges, the boys were released from the team, Whitehead said.
Whitehead said he thinks the players have
also been suspended or expelled from school. A call to Salt Lake City School District spokesman for confirmation was not returned Wednesday night.

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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