Hazing case moves forward as players accept plea deal
This summer, three of the five former Wheaton College Football players charged in a high-profile hazing case accept- ed plea deals and pleaded guilty to misdemeanors. All felony charges against them have been dropped.
Samuel TeBos, Kyler Kre gel and James Cooksey were all members of the Wheaton Football team when they participated in the hazing incident involving another student, Charles Nagy, in March 2016. One of the other players, Noah Spielman, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor last March.
According to the Chicago Tribune, Kregel, Spielman and TeBos pleaded guilty to battery and were given conditional discharge with a sentence of 100 hours of community service, 25 of which must involve a warning against the dangers of hazing. Cooksey pleaded guilty to unlawful restraint and was sentenced to 30 days of court supervision since he is planning on entering the military later this year.
The fifth player, Benjamin Pettway, begins his trial on Sept. 24. This June, Pettway’s attorney, Richard Kayne, asked the court to disclose a video that allegedly contains proof of Nagy’s shoulder injury being unrelated to the hazing incident.
Nagy’s roommate claims that Nagy frequently complained of shoulder pain and showed him a video from a high school football game, telling him, “That’s when I messed up my shoulder,” reports the Tribune.
Nagy’s attorney Terry Ekl says the video doesn’t exist. There are plans to subpoena a company that videos high school football games in search of evidence to the contrary, according to the Tribune.
In March, Nagy sued Wheaton College for having prior knowledge of hazing practices and refusing to enforce anti-hazing policy. Regarding the current position of the college, Director of Legal Affairs Bryan Seiler stated in an email to the Record that he could not comment on the ongoing litigation, but, “As we said from the outset, the college fundamentally disagrees with many of the contentions in the complaint, particularly the contention that the college condones or ignores hazing.”