Three senior football players at Conestoga High School in Chester County are accused of sexually assaulting a freshman on what the team called ‘No Gay Thursdays.’
District Attorney Tom Hogan said Friday that three 17-year-old students held down a 14-year-old boy on Oct. 15 and sexually assaulted him with a broom handle.
The three are charged as juveniles with assault and other crimes.
Hogan says the 14-year-old was “cocky” about being on the varsity team as a freshman and other players didn’t like it.
He says the assault occurred after underclassmen were told to strip to their underwear and clean the team locker room.
The prosecutor says the 14-year-old stripped to his boxers, but when he decided he wanted no further part of it, he was attacked.
Though it happened in October, authorities didn’t learn about the alleged assault until last month. That’s when the freshman told his father, who went to school administrators.
But Hogan says there’s been a culture of hazing for several years.
In this video, Hogan explains other humiliating incidents that would occur on ‘No Gay Thursdays,’ such as underclassmen undressing upperclassmen, ‘humping and grinding,’ and older students putting their genitals on younger students’ heads.
The alleged hazing was so bad on Thursdays, some players avoided the locker room at all costs or even quit the team, Hogan said, yet coaches and school administrators were allegedly not aware of the hazing.
“The kids knew the locker room was theirs. The locker room was theirs to do what they wanted, how they wanted, when they wanted,” said Hogan.
In a statement, Superintendent Dr. Richard Gusick said, “This investigation is a top priority for the high school. The Athletic Director has already begun communicating with affected team members and families. The Head Football Coach has been suspended from all coaching responsibilities, pending the outcome of the school investigation.”