PHILADELPHIA – A prosecutor said Monday he will seek to have three high school football players tried as adults on charges they sodomized teammates during a hazing at a preseason training camp.
"The impact these crimes have had on the victims and on their families is too terrible to consider," Wayne County District Attorney Mark R. Zimmer said.
The teens, members of the Mepham High School (search) football team in Bellmore, N.Y., (search) are accused of sexually torturing a 13-year-old and two 14-year-old boys with a broomstick, pine cones and golf balls. Two of the suspects are 16, one is 17.
Attorneys for the defendants did not immediately return calls for comment. Attorneys for the alleged victims released a statement supporting Zimmer's decision "to prosecute as adults all three youths charged in this terrible assault."
Sixty players and five coaches from the school attended the training camp in August in Preston Park (search), about 125 miles north of Philadelphia.
The coaches slept in a different cabin from students, and said they were unaware of any problems until five days after returning from camp, when a parent complained.
The school district on Long Island suspended the three accused players from school and canceled the football season.
The three had faced juvenile charges that included involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, kidnapping, aggravated assault and unlawful restraint.
Meanwhile, the 40-year-old father of one of the suspects was found dead in his North Merrick, N.Y., home over the weekend, police said. An autopsy was scheduled to determine the cause. The man's name was not released.