Five football players from Wheaton College, an evangelical Christian college in Illiois, allegedly beat and raped a teammate and the university punished them with an 8-page essay based on their actions. The incident took place in 2016 and was listed as a “hazing incident. ” The students are now facing felony charges.
James Cooksey, Kyler Kregel, Benjamin Pettway, Noah Spielman and Samuel TeBos, had their bail set at $50,000 this Monday after prosecutors charged the athletes with “aggravated battery, mob action, and unlawful restraint.”
Sources told the Chicago Tribune that Wheaton police were refusing to release details about the incident. However, sources at the university said on March 19, 2015, that the victim was watching TV when they were tackled by several teammates. After attempting to resist they had their legs and wrists wrapped in duct tape before being carried out of the building with a pillowcase over their head.
Teammates placed the freshmen in the back of a vehicle and played Middle Eastern music as they made offensive comments about Muslim’s.
At one point, the players told the freshmen he had been kidnapped by Muslim’s who wanted to have sex with goats. They then explained that he would be their “goat.”
When restrained in the vehicle his teammates pulled down his shorts and underwear and attempted several times to insert an unknown object into his rectum. When he yelled at them to stop, he was immediately beaten.
“This has had a devastating effect on my life,” the victim told the Tribune. “What was done to me should never occur in connection with a football program or any other activity. … I am confident that the criminal prosecution will provide a fair and just punishment to the men who attacked me.”
Officials at Wheaton College, who deserve to be fired immediately, sat on the allegations for a full year. Eventually, they decided to give each football player 50 hours of community service and ordered them to write an 8-page essay that explained their actions.
“They reportedly assaulted, kidnapped, and sodomized a student,” The Friendly Atheist journalist, Hemant Mehta, explains. “Maybe two of them. And all they had to do so far was write a goddamn essay and do some volunteer work. Their punishment was something many college students do on their own already.”
“It’s even worse when you realize Wheaton would kick students out in a heartbeat if they were caught kissing their same-sex partner goodbye after a date,” Mehta continued. “Hell, just a few months ago, when a gay pride flag appeared in Wheaton’s dining hall, it was taken down almost immediately. It shouldn’t have been up there in the first place, but the point is the school knows how to act quickly when there’s a ‘problem.’”
The Chicago Daily Herald reports that a second student involved in the same hazing was simply dumped in a field. “The investigation has revealed that the first victim suffered injuries and had a much different experience than the second player involved,” Wheaton police Sgt. P.J. Youker said.
In a pathetic attempt to explain the school’s actions, officials this week said the students were originally declared “inactive for practice or competition by the college’s administration and coaching staff.” Three of the five players participated in Saturday’s game against Carthage College.
Despite the actions of the college players, Wheaton police Chief James Volpe said the offenders, are “local” and “we don’t consider them a threat to the community, and we know where they’re at.”
College leaders have hired outside experts to lead a campus-wide review of the effectiveness of the school’s anti-hazing policy.