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Mario Chothen November 30, 2018

Not long ago I was watching the Netflix Original “13 Reasons Why” with my wife Tanisha and there was a scene from the season finale where 3 young men raped another young man with a mop handle. I looked at Tanisha and said “Somebody’s gonna see this and want to do this to another person!” So yesterday I’m watching the news and guess what the headline is? Four 15-year-old Maryland high school football players charged as adults with rape for sexually assaulting four teammates with a broom during a hazing incident. I’m not blaming the show for the actions of others, but the creators of the show shouldn’t feel great about themselves either. The Damascus High School athletes, were each charged with one count of first-degree rape, three counts of attempted rape and one count of conspiracy to commit rape, Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy said. Each of the students was released Tuesday on $20,000 bond, and are not allowed on the premises of Damascus High School, and they are not allowed to contact one another. A fifth teammate is accused of participating in at least one of the attacks and being charged as a juvenile but is also identified as one of four victims.

One of the alleged victims told police that the suspects held him down, pulled his pants down and poked his buttocks with a broomstick before “the broomstick was inserted into his anus a few inches,” prosecutors said.Two of the victims said they were violently attacked, but were able to fight off the assailants before they “Got the broom,” prosecutors said.Another victim said a broomstick, which he described as a wooden handle with a “cut on the tip of it” said he was “stabbed” on the buttocks with the broomstick. When that victim tried to fight the attack, the suspects told him it was “tradition,” he told police.When interviewed by investigators, one of the suspects said the broom “Started from generations ago,” according to prosecutors, who said freshmen were the ones targeted. The alleged rapes and attempted rapes happened on Oct. 31, according to the court documents. Damascus High School’s principal reported the possible assaults to police on Nov. 1.

I absolutely hate the fact that these young men were giving bail, but, I love that most of them were charged as adults. A messaged needs to be sent to men and women everywhere that this behavior is completely unacceptable and consequences will be harsh for such conduct. I also believe coaches need to be more aware of what the hell is going on in their locker rooms! Enough is enough and it’s time for a change. I will continue to follow this story as it develops.