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Three Clyde-Savannah football players plead guilty to forcible touching, hazing

by WayneTimes.com
April 27, 2024

Three varsity football players from Clyde-Savannah High School reached guilty pleas Wednesday in connection with a locker room incident that abruptly ended the team’s season last fall.

BACKGROUND: 

On October 31, 2023, the Clyde Police Department began investigating an assault of a 14-year-old male victim that occurred in the boys locker room of Clyde-Savannah High School. The investigation began when the victim’s parent became aware of a recording of this incident that was circulating on social media.

Police were able to obtain a copy of the video and it became crucial evidence in the final fate of those involved.

Four teens were charged in connection to the sexual abuse incident. All four defendants in the Clyde-Savannah sexual assault case were members of school’s varsity football team.

Their names were not released,  due to their ages.

While the indictment never initially indicated the suspects as members of the Clyde-Savannah varsity football team, the school district’s superintendent, within days, released a statement to the community indicating an incident involving several members of the team resulted in disciplinary actions and led to the premature ending of their then winning season.

Although they were initially charged with felonies for aggravated sexual abuse as well, Judge Richard Healy dismissed those charges on February 2nd based on the content of the video. Three plead guilty to misdemeanors for forcible touching and hazing for the October 31 incident.

The teens were each given two years of probation and no-contact orders of protection for the victim.

The victim’s mother addressed the defendants in court Wednesday, saying her son’s dream of being on the varsity football team became a nightmare on that Halloween.

"You got pleasure from causing your own teammate’s pain," she said.

"What did my son do to you?" she continued. "Was it wrong for him to want to be a part of your team? Was it wrong that he had the same dreams that you had at his age? Was it his fault that he was weaker than you?"

Judge Rick Healy told the defendants what happened that day "went to a level beyond locker room rowdiness."

"What happened here was terrible," he said. "It shouldn’t have happened."

"There was no physical injury at all, and that’s the reason I’m granting you youthful offender and probation and not sending you to jail," Healy said.

"These rumors and this idea that this was some sort of sexual attack has to end," defense attorney Steve Sercu said. "It has to end because that is not what happened."

A fourth suspect, age 16, is charged with unlawful surveillance. That case is going through family court.

"I think everybody wants to put this behind them at this point," defense attorney Michael Schiano said.

"This whole case is unfortunate. It has divided the community," stated Wayne County District Attorney Christine K. Callanan, who prosecuted the case. "The lesson in this is that their antics were  unacceptable."

Callanan added that the life of that 14 year-old boy changed on the October 31st incident and he will never be the same.

Times news partner 13WHAM provided some of the content to this story

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