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East High Teens accused of Sex Crimes


Three 15-year-old football players for East High School in Salt Lake City, Utah have been arrested. Each face multiple charges including forcible sodomy, attempted forcible sodomy and forcible sexual abuse, all first-degree felonies. They are accused of forcibly holding down other players and committing sex acts on them.
In one incident two of the suspects are accused of holding down a student in the locker room while the third teen rubbed his genitals on the boy's face.

In another incident one boy was cornered in the shower and attacked. In a third incident another boy was attacked while in the locker room changing. He was grabbed, held down on a bench and sexually attacked. All these incidents were reported and detailed in court documents. The attacks occurred either during football games or at practice between Aug. 30 and Sept. 11.

After the third incident, another sophomore who witnessed the incident reported it to one of the sophomore team coaches, who then called the Leopards head coach, Aaron Whitehead.
"The next morning I reported it to my administration, and then we called the Salt Lake police," Whitehead said. "We immediately suspended the three players from the team. ... We've never had anything like this happen, and we certainly do not condone such activities."

Within a day of East administrators reporting the incident, police referred the case to Salt Lake County prosecutors. During the police investigation the other two incidents were discovered. The student-athletes eventually were dismissed from the team and have not been attending school at East High. Charges were filed Sept. 19. "The school did everything they were supposed to do," said Salt Lake School District spokesman Jason Olsen. The incidents were being called hazing by some. But Olsen said neither hazing nor sexual assault against any student would be tolerated in the district. "No matter what form it takes, it is not allowed in the district," he said. "It's disappointing some students would think something like this would be OK."

Head coach, Whitehead said he sought out the victim of the third attack after it was brought to his attention.
"I just put my arm around him and said, 'I sure hope to see you at practice today,"' Whitehead said. The boy showed up at practice and was embraced by teammates and coaches. "He's been contributing to our team."

He said he met with the players immediately after the investigation occurred and explained why it was unacceptable behavior. He said it is interesting to note that the sophomore team is having more success since the incidents occurred. "I think they saw that the head football coach is more concerned with them developing into good young men than just winning games," Whitehead said. "The varsity team has rallied around the sophomores, and they understand that there's more to life than football."

The three students were scheduled to be in court Oct. 11.


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