No charges for teens accused of hazing


Published: Saturday, January 22, 2005 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 21, 2005 at 10:34 p.m.
The Buchholz High School soccer players accused of hazing boys new to the team will not face criminal charges, The Sun learned Thursday.
New details of the incident released Thursday show that the incident pitted at least five of the established players against two younger newcomers to the soccer team.
This week, the mother of one the Buchholz soccer players who was hazed told authorities that she and her son would not seek criminal charges.
"(The mother) advised us that she had spoken with other team members' parents and she and her son do not want to pursue this incident criminally," a Leon County Sheriff's Office report stated. "She requested that this investigation be closed."
The Leon County Sheriff's Office was the lead agency because the hazing incident occurred while the varsity team was visiting Tallahassee on Dec. 3.
Area authorities first learned of the incident on Dec. 16 after a soccer player's mother reported rumors to the Buchholz High principal.
A Buchholz school resource deputy interviewed two players who said they were victims of the hazing pranks, according to an Alachua County Sheriff's Office report.
The first boy said the incident happened after a group of players finished watching a movie in a Tallahassee hotel.
"As he was leaving the room, he heard some players say, 'All right, it's time for the initiation,' " the report stated.
The two victims were held by older boys while other older boys did the hazing. The victimized boys told authorities they considered the incident to be more humiliating than violent or sexual, according to the report.
Both boys told the Buchholz school resource deputy they had anticipated an initiation-type prank was going to occur, according to the report.
The boys said they were allowed to leave the room afterward, the report stated.
The Sun is choosing to withhold the names of both the accused and the victims.
Students involved in the prank were suspended from the team, Buchholz High staff said.
Three students were suspended from school, and three were removed from the team.
Buchholz Principal Vicente "Vince" Perez described the hazing as an "initiation-type prank."
He told The Sun that he had spoken to all of the parents of the students involved and considered it a closed issue.
"We've dealt with it," he said. The Buchholz soccer team returns to Tallahassee Tuesday for their final game of their regular season against Tallahassee Leon High.
In 2000, Alfred University of Alfred, N.Y., published a study on hazing. Of more than 1,500 high school students polled, 48 percent said they had been hazed.
Nearly all students who were hazed were subjected to humiliation, according to the study.
All high-school students who join groups are at risk for hazing, although more male students than females are hazed, the study said.
Douane D. James can be reached at (352) 374-5087 or jamesd@gvillesun.com.

High school hazing AT A GLANCE

  • Area authorities first learned of the incident on Dec. 16 after a soccer player's mother reported rumors to the Buchholz High principal. A Buchholz school resource deputy interviewed two players who said they were victims of the hazing pranks, according to an Alachua County Sheriff's Office report.

    HAZING on Page 5B

    Continued from 1B

    HAZING:

    Three players removed from team

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