MUNCIE, Ind. (Dec. 29, 2015)—Three juveniles were charged with a total of 28 counts Tuesday in connection with an alleged hazing incident involving the Delta High School football team back in June.
According to the Delaware County Prosecutor’s Office, one juvenile was charged with three counts of battery and seven counts of confinement. A second juvenile was charged with three counts of battery and two counts of confinement. A third was charged with nine counts of battery and four counts of confinement.
All battery charges are level B misdemeanors, while the confinement charges are level 6 felonies.
“I’m sickened by that,” said Traci Gross.
Gross had three kids of her own graduate from Delta High School. She is an alumna, too. She can’t believe the charges the three now former students face.
“I would never imagine anything like that from that school ever,” she said.
The incident first came to light late this summer.
Parents told FOX59 the incident occurred at a football camp held at DePauw University in June, when three Delta High School juniors allegedly hazed and bullied members of the freshman football team.
The Delaware Community School Corporation called in Indiana State Police along with Child Protective Services. The case was later forwarded to Delaware County Prosecutor Jeff Arnold.
“I think a prosecutor has to look at it and take some action when you see this kind of bullying and this kind of thing happening in a school setting,” said Ross Thomas, a criminal defense attorney in Indianapolis.
Thomas is not associated with this case, but he said with the teens being charged as juveniles, a juvenile judge will have greater options for punishment, like probation, special schooling, or even detention.
“Any felony charge is serious, obviously,” he said.
Thomas said typically in cases like this prosecutors file a count for each victim involved.
“I feel sorry for the children that happened to, because that’ll affect them forever,” said Gross.
The Delaware Community School Corporation released the following statement Tuesday:
The Delaware Community School Board of Trustees and the administration take intimidation, harassment, and un-welcomed behaviors very seriously in our efforts to promote student safety.
School resumes at Delta High School on January 5th.