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(8-16-19) Four football players from Berea-Midpark High School are facing charges after an investigation into what’s being called a hazing incident at a football camp they attended at Case Western Reserve University back in June.

According to juvenile court documents there were eleven victims involved in the hazing incident, which took place between June 10 and 12.

Jabriel Williams, 18, faces seven charges, including rape, sexual battery and kidnapping.

Two 17-year-old suspects face charges that also include rape and sexual battery, while a 15-year-old suspect faces misdemeanor charges of hazing and unlawful restraint.

The Berea City School District statement-

To the Berea City School District Community,

The Cleveland Police Department has completed most of its investigation into the hazing incident that occurred in June at the Case Western Reserve University Football Camp that was attended by the Berea-Midpark High School Football Team and its coaches.  We have been made aware that BMHS student athletes who participated in the hazing incident will be charged by the prosecutor with criminal offenses. 

If those students who are charged with criminal offenses are minors, we understand that neither the police nor the courts will reveal their names.  Due to privacy laws, the District cannot and will not reveal the names of the BMHS students who are charged criminally. The Board takes students’ privacy rights seriously and both federal and state privacy laws prohibit the Board and any of its employees from revealing personally-identifiable-student information, which also would include any information about student discipline. 

Please note that the school district is not precluded from disciplining a student and/or denying a student extracurricular/co-curricular privileges because he was charged by a prosecutor with a crime.  Appropriate athletic and academic consequences will be handed out by the administration as deemed appropriate. Students who were involved have been and will be given consequences from the school district; we can not discuss those consequences with anyone other than the student and his parents.

During the course of our investigation, we have not found any evidence that any coach had any knowledge of the hazing incident.  Our Titan football coaches have never, and will never, condone or tolerate hazing and will continue to build a program that our community can be proud of. The Board of Education and BCSD Administration policy prohibits any form of hazing, and the District takes any allegations of hazing seriously.  

As we continue to move forward and our football team enters the 2019 season, I hope that our Titan community rallies around the Berea-Midpark Titan football team and the student athletes who proudly wear the blue and orange and compete on the field.  

 

Sincerely,

Tracy L. Wheeler
Superintendent

On June 18, the Berea Police Department was notified by the Ohio Department of Public Safety Schools Hotline that a

“possible sexual assault and hazing incident”

had occurred, and the anonymous caller said it happened when the football team was at the camp at CWRU.

An investigation by the Cleveland Police Department’s Sex Crimes Unit, with help from Berea and CWRU police, found that

“multiple victims were sexually assaulted in a dormitory as part of a hazing incident amongst team members.”

Case Western Reserve University, where the alleged incident took place, released the following statement Thursday:

“We are horrified by the conduct described in these charges, and devastated for the victims and their families. Upon learning of these allegations earlier this summer, we began a detailed investigation of our policies and practices involving overnight youth camps where our university staff are not providing direct supervision of the individuals staying in our residence halls. As much as we want to welcome organizations that wish to use our campus facilities, our highest priority always must be the safety and well-being of our minor guests. In that context, we are seriously considering suspending all residential camps that do not directly involve our own trained staff.”

The Titans are scheduled to open the season at home when they play Strongsville on August 30yh.