Hazing News

Wilson case redux: Niagara Gazette

WILSON: Geoffrey Seefeldt sentenced in school bus hazing case
Staff Reports

The oldest of three varsity baseball players who were charged in connection with an alleged hazing on a Wilson school bus last year was sentenced in secret Tuesday night at Wilson Town Court.

Attorneys said Geoffrey Seefeldt, 19, was spared jail time, though the actual sentence was not released because of Seefeldt’s youthful offender status.

Seefeldt pleaded guilty in June to endangering the welfare of a child, a misdemeanor, which carries a maximum sentence of one year in jail.

Two co-defendents — Colton Sherman and Christopher Sidote, both 18 — were found non guilty July 9 on charges of second-degree hazing and forcible touching after a non-jury trial.

Child endangerment charges against two coaches charged in connection with the case, William Atlas and Thomas Baia, were dropped July 6.

The players were accused of assaulting junior varsity players in the back of a Wilson school bus during a ride back from a game in Niagara Falls on April 17, 2008.

The families of the alleged victims are now suing the Wilson Central School District for damages related to the incident.

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 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-- and in his weekly column "Far from Randolph" in the Winchester Star-Gazette of Randolph County, Indiana.

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