Three Willard wrestlers accused of sexually violating male student

NORWALK Three Willard High School wrestlers are in hot water after they sexually violated another ma
Cory Frolik
May 24, 2010



Three Willard High School wrestlers are in hot water after they sexually violated another male student.

At least one wrestler claimed such behavior was endemic in the Willard Schools wrestling culture.

The trio were found guilty in juvenile court of delinquent disorderly conduct and ordered to undergo a psychological evaluation that was sex-offender specific.

"The judge ordered in one of the cases -- because one kid said this was pretty widespread -- that the (Huron County) Sheriff's office conduct a thorough investigation of the allegations and report back to the court and the Willard law director," said Juvenile Court administrator Chris Mushett. "One kid alleged in court that this has been going on for a while."

As part of a plea agreement, the Huron County prosecutor's office dismissed assault and complicity to commit assault charges.

According to the criminal complaint, a naked 17-year-old wrestler pulled the student to the ground in the lockerroom and sat on top of him, thrusting his genitals in the student's face.

Another teenager allegedly took a photograph of the incident, which occurred in December.

Then, on Feb. 4, two wrestlers held down the same student in the school's gymnasium and grabbed his genitals through his clothing.

Both 16, the pair also pushed several fingers into the fabric of his clothing, penetrating the rectum. They also pulled his pants down when they let him up.

When authorities learned of the incidents, the two younger wrestlers were charged with complicity to assault and disorderly conduct. The older athlete was charged with assault and disorderly conduct.

In addition to the psychological examinations, which are being used for sentencing purposes, Judge Tom Heydinger also ordered the wrestlers to have no contact with the student they harassed or with each other.

Reese Wineman, attorney for one of the defendants, said he felt the matter was blown out of proportion and the boy's actions were horseplay that got out of hand.

He said there was nothing sexual about the encounters and saw no evidence that harassing behavior was a common occurrence at Willard Schools.

"Unless there was some ongoing issue at the schools, it wasn't what it was blown up to be from what I was able to observe," Wineman said.

Contacted about these incidents earlier this year, Willard Schools superintendent Dennis Doughty denied having knowledge of them.

School officials and the prosecutor's office did not return calls Tuesday.