Three football players charged with violating 14-year-old boy with broomstick on ‘No Gay Thursday’

Three football players charged with violating 14-year-old boy with broomstick on ‘No Gay Thursday’
Three senior football players at a suburban Philadelphia high school are accused of assaulting a freshman on what the team called “No Gay Thursday.”

District Attorney Tom Hogan said Friday that three 17-year-old students at Conestoga High School held down a 14-year-old boy on Oct. 15 and assaulted him with a broom handle.

The three are charged as juveniles with assault and other crimes.

Hogan says the 14-year-old was arrogant 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.

According to Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan, the freshman Conestoga High School student screamed in pain as the three seniors assaulted him.

While hazing is considered a crime in Pennsylvania, it’s only considered a crime in colleges — not high schools.

The football coach John Vogan was promptly suspended from all duties once charges were announced.

He’ll remind suspended during the length of an investigation that will “determine whether or not code of conduct violations occurred, the awareness and level of supervision provided by the coaching staff, and what further measures can promote inclusive and respectful behavior,” wrote Superintendent Richard Gusick on the district’s website.

Depending on the outcome, the three students will face “firm but fair consequences.”

According to CBS Philadelphia, the 14-year-old told his father about the incident just last month, and the father talked to the school district about the situation, who immediately alerted both the police and the DA’s office.

As of yet, no evidence indicates that the coach or staff had any idea about the assault beforehand.

Vogan says he had absolutely no idea about the team’s hazing culture because “coaches typically stayed out of the locker room,” according to WTSP.

“This was generally upperclassmen doing this to the underclassmen,” he said. “Bigger kids doing it to smaller kids. Hazing,” he said.

The three alleged attackers were charged as juveniles with unlawful restraint, conspiracy, assault, and terroristic threats.

“It just happened to be a perfect storm of this ‘No Gay Thursday’ tradition and them not liking this freshman and taking it out on him in a pretty horrible way,” Hogan told the AP.

Apparently the football team dreamed up the “No Gay Thursdays” three or four years ago, and on that day, behavior typically considered “gay” is considered “not gay” on Thursdays, says Hogan.

According to the prosecutor, the tradition involves older players coming up behind their younger peers and placing their genitals atop their heads, as well as other lewd acts.

Older players would come up behind younger players and put their genitals atop the younger players’ heads, among other sexually explicit or suggestive acts, the prosecutor said.

He also revealed the players have a tradition called “blessing each other,” which entails a student spreading his hand wide and then smacking another player’s backside with enough strength to leave a mark.

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