Four wrestlers from Norman North High School in Oklahoma have been charged with rape after a police investigation into sexual assaults of two younger teammates in an alleged hazing incident during a bus trip in mid-January.
As reported by the Oklahoman and other Oklahoma City area outlets, the Norman North junior varsity wrestling squad was returning from a tournament in Pauls Valley when police said three teens restrained a 16-year-old teammate and digitally penetrated him over his clothing. Police said the three and fourth teammate acted the same way to a 12-year-old teammate shortly thereafter, taking additional caution by placing a condom over their fingers in that instance.
Police say the 12-year-old also was attacked when the bus returned to the school. After being attacked again, he fled but was caught between two cars in the parking lot where the others “attempt to do all of this again,” police said, according to The Oklahoman. The end came when the victim’s parent arrived.
Three wrestlers were charged in sexual assaults of both the 16-year-old and the 12-year-old. The fourth wrestler is charged in the sexual assault of the 12-year-old.
While three of the wrestlers were of age and had their names released by local news reports, USA TODAY High School Sports is withholding that information. The three wrestlers charged in the attack on the 16-year-old are 18, 17 and 16, respectively. The fourth wrestler is 16.
The Norman school district released a statement about the incident and charges facing the teens via Superintendent Dr. Joseph Siano late Monday, which you can read directly below:
“Student safety is a top priority and we followed procedures we have in place that allow us to effectively investigate and take swift action in these situations. We appreciate the individuals who came forward to provide information, the Norman Police Department’s thorough investigation and the quick action by the District Attorney on this incident. We are well-prepared to handle situations like this and have programs in place to support students who experience trauma. And, while we believe the district’s policies regarding student supervision are strong, we continuously evaluate our procedures to ensure they are followed. As we address the inappropriate behavior displayed by several students, we remain committed to supporting the vast majority of our student athletes, who are quality individuals that demonstrate positive behavior and strong character traits.”
There is sure to be additional information to come related to the allegations against the teens and their own reactions. In the meantime, the students involved have been suspended from school since the first reports were made, and are likely to remain that way.