Idaho

Locker room assault sparks effort to heal Idaho communities

Community leaders in Idaho are collecting stories of violence and discrimination in the wake of a sexual assault of a disabled black athlete by his white teammates that shocked not only a small town but residents across the state.

The effort began after John R.K. Howard and two teammates were charged with sodomizing the victim with a clothes hanger in 2015 in the locker room at the high school in the tiny farming village of Dietrich.

The sex assault charge against Howard, who was 18 at the time of the incident, was later dropped. He was eventually sentenced to probation for felony injury to a child.

NAACP Treasure Valley President Charles Taylor says what happened in Dietrich can happen anywhere unless people start taking action.

The goal is to identify solutions to limit acts of hate.