Police investigate 2nd report of hazing involving Montgomery Co. football players

WASHINGTON — As police continue to investigate claims of violent, sexually-related hazing at Damascus High School, allegations at another school in Montgomery County, Maryland, have come to light.

According to a statement from Montgomery County Police Capt. C. Thomas Jordan, officers previously investigated “allegations of unwanted sexual touching among football players” at Seneca Valley High School in Germantown.

The investigation began on Sept. 18.

Officers spoke with numerous individuals including the alleged victim and school administrators. However, according to Jordan, it was ultimately unclear whether the allegations amounted to an assault.

“The alleged victim did not want to pursue the case and no charges were filed,” he said.

In a statement provided to WTOP, Montgomery County Public Schools spokesman Derek Turner said the school handled the investigation at Seneca Valley after the police declined to file charges. Students were disciplined and staff were reprimanded for lack of supervision, Turner said.

In addition, the team is taking part in a program dealing with hazing, bullying and harassment in the wake of the incident, he said.

The revelation comes as five junior varsity football players at Damascus High School face criminal charges related to hazing allegations in the boys’ locker room.

All the students involved are under 18 and are being charged as juveniles.

Three have been charged with two counts of second-degree rape and two counts of attempted second-degree rape. One student has been charged with three counts of second-degree rape and another has been charged with attempted second-degree rape.

Montgomery County police did not release the names of the students and provided few details about the nature of the assaults.

“Due to the tender age of everyone involved on both sides of this issue, we are closely guarding many of the details of this ongoing investigation,” said Montgomery County Police Capt. Paul Starks.

Investigators said the assaults, which involved four male victims, took place on Halloween in the afternoon hours after school was dismissed.

Following the initial reports of hazing, the junior varsity football team forfeited a game scheduled for Nov. 1.

In an earlier statement, schools spokesman Derek Turner said the “alleged behavior is upsetting and unacceptable and will not be tolerated.”

He told WTOP Monday that the school system has “directed all coaches, athletic directors and school activity sponsors to engage with their students around these critical issues.”

Nick Iannelli

Nick Iannelli can be heard covering developing and breaking news stories on WTOP.

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