Sexual abuse and hazing in football programs
Recently, Outside the Lines conducted an investigation of sexual abuse and hazing in high school football programs in the United States. OTL found about 40 incidents of sexual abuse and hazing since 2011. About seven of the 40 incidents occurred this year. Experts say that the vast majority of sexual abuse and hazing incidents are never reported. Also, there are no federal or state agencies that track the incidents that actually are reported. While most victims and witnesses don’t speak out due to a code of silence, some have chosen to speak out.
Cases of sexual abuse and hazing
Josh Villegas, a 14-year-old boy, joined the football team at Oak Hills High School in 2013. He reported that he was attacked by his teammates while he was using a urinal in a locker room bathroom. Josh reports that he was overtaken by his teammates and pinned to the wall. Another teammate used his fingers to sodomize Josh. Even though Josh reported this incident to school authorities and the police, no suspects were identified. One year later, Josh’s mother sued the school district and claimed that administrators and coaches permitted a culture of sexual abuse and hazing to permeate the football program at the high school.
In September 2011, a few older teammates used a broom handle to sodomize Jordan Preavy, who was a junior on the football team at Milton High School, through his clothes. Witnesses reported that Jordan appeared to be in pain and that he yelled “Get off!” and “No!” Jordan never informed his parents about what happened. About a year later, Jordan committed suicide after his 17th birthday. The school administrators learned about the hazing incident in May 2013, but they never informed Jordan’s parents or the authorities. In 2014, police investigated other hazing allegations at the school, learned about Jordan’s hazing, and informed his parents.
Jordan’s parents are certain that the incident caused Jordan to commit suicide. They are currently in the process of suing the school district for allegedly not protecting their son from sexual abuse and hazing.
Unfortunately, sexual abuse and hazing may occur in football programs across the nation. If you or a loved one was a victim of a sadomasochistic hazing ritual, you should contact a reputed attorney to help you determine what your next step should be.