A Washington high school’s hazing tradition called the “Rape Squad” — which focused on restraining teammates while their genitals were fondled or they were poked between the buttocks — was ruled to be “disturbing” but not worthy of a criminal complaint, per the Seattle Times.
Bothell (Wash.) High School had been under investigation twice in the past year, focused on the aforementioned hazing practice internally referred to as “Rape Squad.” While the first investigation, which was launched after a freshman overheard chatter about the practice and reported it, found no proof of wrongdoing, the second came after a summer training camp where three players, age 14 or 15, claimed they were poked while fully clothed.
Further interviews and investigations apparently uncovered no ill will about the incidents from the alleged victims, with some even willingly participating and reciprocating.
That essentially ruled out the possibility of criminal intent or sexual harassment of any kind, as reflected in the ruling handed down by Garrett Ware, the police officer handling the investigation, according to the Times.
“All parties involved indicated that, although highly inappropriate and potentially criminal, the behavior was done without malicious or criminal intent or sexual motivation,’’ Ware wrote in a report.
The decision is controversial, for the obvious reason that a practice referred to as “Rape Squad” will not be punished in any legal way. Still, the Times reported that the Northshore School District, of which Bothell is a part, instituted discipline for individual students connected with the incident and program wide sanctions, which allegedly included the cancellation of some overnight trips.
For now, that isn’t impacting Bothell as it roars toward the state playoffs yet again. The Class 4A power is currently 6-2 and all but ensured for yet another playoff appearance in 2019.