4 charged as adults in alleged Damascus High School broomstick hazing incident released on bond
DAMASCUS, Md. - Four suspects charged in an alleged locker room sexual assault at Damascus High School were released on bond Monday.
A bond hearing was held for four of the five players who were being charged as adults.
Jean Claude Abedi, Kristian Jamal Lee, Will Daniel Smith, Caleb Thorpe face charges including first-degree rape in the alleged Halloween locker room attack against their own teammates on the Damascus JV football team.
Abedi, Lee, Smith and Thorpe were released on $20,000 bond each and ordered to stay away from the alleged victims and the high school. Prosecutor stated that all four victims are freshmen at the school and were considered "soft" by the suspects.
A fifth suspect is facing charges in juvenile court.
Arrest documents detailing the incident that led to the arrests reveal gruesome allegations of beatings and violent sexual assaults.
"I am offended by the term hazing---it is not hazing--these are crimes and I would anyone to refer to this as hazing--these boys were victims of criminal acts--they were not victims of hazing they were victims of first degree rape and attempted rape these were crimes," said Montgomery County State's Attorney John McCarthy.
The assaults came to light when the father of a victim found him sobbing in his room later that night.
He immediately called the coaches, who notified the principal.
One victim told police the lights suddenly went off inside the locker room and: "J.C. Abedi and K.J. Lee grabbed [victim B] by the shoulders and threw him on the floor. One of them held his feet down and while he was face down on the ground, his pants were pulled down and he was 'poked in his buttocks with the wooden broom.'"
The three other victims were attacked in a similar way, according to police.
Investigators say in arrest documents, "Victim C said after they finished with him, they proceeded to Victim A where they pulled Victim A's sweatshirt over the top of his head, punched him in the face, knocked him on his back and stomped on him."
The documents says defendant Will Smith told police that "the broom" - as he called it - had been used for generations.
McCarthy said no other victims - even from prior years - have come forward.