TULSA, Okla. (AP) — Four former high school football players charged with sexually assaulting a teammate in Oklahoma have pleaded not guilty to second-degree rape.
The Bixby High School students entered their pleas Wednesday, The Tulsa World reported.
The 16-year-old victim told investigators he was assaulted with a pool cue during a team dinner in September at the home of the school district’s former superintendent.
According to the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, the boy said he was assaulted by one player while three others held him down.
Prosecutors said school leadership waited eight days to report what was first deemed “an alleged hazing incident.”
Investigators have said the officials’ lag in reporting the assault may have jeopardized their ability to recover key evidence.
Superintendent Kyle Wood resigned from the suburban Tulsa district in December amid the fallout.
Clark Brewster, an attorney representing another one of the accused teens, has said the students involved in the case were “engaging in playful behavior that was reciprocal.”
The teens have each been free on $25,000 bonds since they were booked into and released from the Tulsa Jail as youthful offenders on March 1. It’s unclear if they’ve been allowed on campus since being charged with the felony.
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