Five Plead Not Guilty to Milton HS Hazing Incident

By Joe Gullo , Kristen Tripodi

Published 08/19 2014 02:42PM

Updated 08/19 2014 06:18PM

MILTON, Vt. - The community of Milton was shocked to hear the news that five former high school football players were arrested on assault charges stemming from what police are calling a hazing incident. The reported incident happened during the 2011 and 2012 seasons.

"I just couldn't believe it happened in Milton because its just a nice town to live in," Brenda Companion, Milton resident, said.

"You know hazing happens, but it's sad that it's happening up here," Milton Resident Mark Trudo said.

The Chittenden Unit for Special Investigations began looking into alleged hazing back in April.

Court documents reveal the five boys, Williams Jenkins, 18, of Milton, Vt.,; Colby Darling, 18, of Milton, Vt.; Brian Lasell, 19, of Milton, Vt.; Brandon Beliveau, 20, of Milton, Vt.; and Ryan Carlson, 20, of Milton, Vt.;  are all accused of sexually assaulting at least five of their former teammates.

Since the incident, one of those victims took his own life, but court documents state there is no direct evidence linking his death to the alleged hazing.

The documents also show the assaults happened in more than one location, including the Milton High School locker room. The Milton Schools Superintendent John Barone says the district plans to work with law enforcement to address the situation.

"I'm anticipating that we may have to do our own internal investigation here in the district to make sure that non of this such behavior is not continuing to happen," Barone said.

Barone says education is probably the best way to stop hazing from happening.

"We will probably be meeting with our athletes, I'm going to recommend that we meet fall, winter, and spring, and we talk about hazing and how its not tolerated," Barone said.

Barone says he's already spoken to the football coach to make sure that message gets across to the players.

The school has a zero tolerance policy, meaning students could be expelled if they are involved.

Only three of the five former students were in court on Tuesday.  All of those charged in this incident have since graduated.

The simple assault charge holds a maximum of one year in prison, a $1,000, or both.

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