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Wilson cases coming to court soon: Buffalo News

Judge’s Decision Below on Priors

05/29/09 06:50 AM
Judge in Wilson hazing case refuses to revisit ruling

WILSON—The judge presiding over the case of two Wilson High School baseball coaches charged in an alleged hazing incident refused Thursday a request to revisit his previous ruling that barred evidence of the coaches’ actions or inactions previous to the alleged crime.

In a written ruling issued Thursday, Town Justice George R. Berger denied a motion from Assistant District Attorney Robert A. Zucco asking the judge to reconsider his April 23 ruling preventing the introduction of the evidence—unless the defense raises the subject first. The judge said introducing this information would be “prejudicial.”

Thomas J. Baia and William M. Atlas face misdemeanor child endangerment charges. They are accused of failing to act during a team bus ride April 17, 2008, when varsity players were allegedly harassing junior varsity players.

A jury trial is scheduled to begin July 6. The trial for the three former varsity players is scheduled to get under way June 20.

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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