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Wed Aug 31, 2016, 01:22 AM

11 freshmen victims in alleged Philomath hazing, coach charged

PORTLAND A volunteer football coach and six players for a small town Oregon high school team face criminal charges for a hazing initiation in which 11 freshmen at a summer training camp had intimate parts of their bodies "aggressively targeted," a prosecutor said Tuesday.

The Philomath High School volunteer coach, Cooper Kikuta, has been charged with misdemeanor criminal mistreatment, punishable by up to a year in jail, and the players who allegedly hazed the freshmen are accused of juvenile crimes similar to adult charges of misdemeanor harassment and assault, said Benton County District Attorney John Haroldson.

Haroldson said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press that sexual abuse charges were not filed because he "didn't see any evidence in the case to indicate that the touching was done for purposes of sexual arousal, but rather it was done in a hazing context."

The alleged hazing happened during the football team's July trip to Camp Rilea on Oregon's northern coast, Haroldson said. The players were targeted "as a form of initiation" and one of the alleged victims was grabbed and held down twice, said Haroldson, the Corvallis Gazette-Times reported.

Read more: http://www.mailtribune.com/news/20160830/11-freshmen-victims-in-alleged-philomath-hazing-coach-charged

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