Middle school students charged in alleged sexual hazing - WSMV Channel 4

Middle school students charged in alleged sexual hazing

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CHAPEL HILL, TN (WSMV) -

Three young students face criminal charges over an alleged hazing incident involving a middle school football team.

Investigators said the students, seventh and eighth graders, thought it was a harmless prank, but now they know it's no laughing matter.

In fact, the three middle schoolers are now suspended from Forrest School in Chapel Hill after they allegedly hazed a teammate while the boys were supposed to be working out.

"I think that there's a lot of that that goes on in schools all throughout the United States. Some of it gets reported, and some of it doesn't," said Marshall County Sheriff's Det. Jimmy Oliver.

Investigators said two of the boys held the victim down, while a third pulled down his pants and put his private parts on the victim's face.

Someone else witnessed the whole thing, and told school officials, who called police.

"Even something that could be a joke, you know, could be real serious, and there's consequences to that," Oliver said.

The two boys who allegedly held the victim down are being charged with assault. The third faces charges of assault, and indecent exposure.

They are serious charges that could put their futures on the line.

"If you've got a blemish on your record, sometimes it doesn't matter how good you are, because they could find just as good of a player somewhere else, and you could lose a scholarship," Oliver said.

Marshall County Schools Director Jackie Abernathy said in a statement:

"The students involved in the hazing incident have been suspended from all school activities pending the outcome of a police investigation."

"It's not worth it. The children just need to think before they do," Oliver said. "What if it was your brother or your sister, would you want that to be done to them?"

Investigators said the boys fully admitted to what they did. Their first appearance in juvenile court is scheduled for July 22.

Officers also said there was originally a fourth suspect who ended up being cleared of having anything to do with the alleged incident. That child, they say, was just a witness in the wrong place at the wrong time.

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