Prosecutors Drop Charges Against School Officials in New Mexico Football Hazing

Prosecutors have dismissed charges against four school officials who were accused of failing to report a hazing in which high school football players were sodomized with a broomstick.

The superintendent, athletic director and two former coaches at Robertson High School all had been charged with misdemeanors amid accusations they did not immediately report the hazing to law enforcement.

But District Attorney Donald Gallegos said he dropped the case because the law under which they were charged did not apply. He says the duty to report child abuse applies when it's at the hands of a parent, guardian or custodian, not another child.

Six football players were accused of sodomizing younger players last year at a preseason camp. They were kicked off the team and charged with criminal sexual penetration, kidnapping, conspiracy and other crimes.

Two of the teens have since reached plea agreements. Charges are pending against the others.

Superintendent Rick Romero, athletic director Michael Yara, former head coach Ray Woods and former assistant coach Adam Alvarez were charged in April with failing to report the hazing. Woods told reporters at the time that he responded immediately and was confident he would be cleared.

Jerry Walz, attorney for Romero and Yara, said Friday they're grateful the charges were dropped.

"We concur it was the right decision," he said.

Neither man was at the camp and "never received at any time any information suggesting child abuse or criminal activity," Walz said.