Criminal Acts at Damascus Shock Community

Hazing Incident Gone-Wrong Impacts All of MoCo

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Criminal Acts at Damascus Shock Community

A hazing incident at Damascus HS (above) has impacted all Montgomery County schools.

A hazing incident at Damascus HS (above) has impacted all Montgomery County schools.

WJLA

A hazing incident at Damascus HS (above) has impacted all Montgomery County schools.

WJLA

WJLA

A hazing incident at Damascus HS (above) has impacted all Montgomery County schools.

Jordan Doss, Editor in Chief

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Five Damascus high school students were arrested in early November with one or more charges of second-degree rape or attempted second-degree rape.

The incident involved members of the school’s JV football team who raped two players with a broomstick and attempted to do the same to two other players. All of the involved students are juveniles, but four of the five will be tried in court as adults.

“Considering their decision to rape somebody is an adult choice, they should be tried as adults,” CHS senior Alex Valesquez said.

On Thursday Nov. 29, the 4 boys charged as adults were indicted on one count of first-degree rape and three counts of attempted first-degree rape, and they each received an account of conspiracy for each victim. The four have since been released from jail on an unsecured $20,000 bond. The remaining attacker pled guilty in juvenile court to third-degree sexual offense.

“I do not believe that something like this could happen at our school because of the upset reactions, but there are crappy people everywhere so I can say that severe offenses are not completely impossible either,” CHS sophomore Saahas Menta said.

The court date has yet to be released for the official convictions for the boys, but tensions are high while awaiting the results.

“Hopefully the publicity of this event will be enough to prevent anything else that is even a little bit similar to this,” CHS junior Hannah King said.

All of MoCo is in shock surrounding the situation and system athletic director Jeff Sullivan has taken steps to ensure no other athletes are hurt by a crime like this. A message was delivered countywide Nov. 7 that listed the new policies following the incident.

“In response to this situation, I have met with athletic directors and communicated a plan for enhanced education and engagement with our students and coaches to ensure that we are promoting a positive environment free of hazing, bullying, harassment, and abuse,” Sullvan said. “This will be addressed with coaches at preseason meetings and reinforced throughout each season. Additionally, every coach across the program will be further emphasizing the promotion of a positive culture and the harmful effects and consequences of hazing, bullying, harassment, and abuse with their respective teams at the beginning of each season.”

As students, it is time to band together and stand up against bullying and sexual assault in our schools.