Lawsuit: Teens sexually assaulted in high school team hazing

Aug 23, 2021, 11:30 AM | Updated: 3:45 pm

CHICAGO (AP) — The parents of two teenage boys filed a federal lawsuit Monday alleging their sons were sexually assaulted in a hazing tradition by older players on their suburban Chicago high school football team, and that three adult coaches were aware and even had a nickname for the ritual.

In the lawsuit, the parents contend that on Oct. 17, 2019, the older boys surrounded their sons, pinned them to the ground and assaulted them with a broomstick with such force that it broke.

The lawsuit names the three Plainfield Central High School coaches and the school district.

The parents, who are identified only as Jane and John Doe A and Jane and John Doe B, say no coaches were in the locker room at the time of the alleged assault, but that they knew what was going on. The lawsuit says coaches at the school had, for at least five years, “recognized the term ‘Code Blue’ to refer to the custom, tradition, or practice of senior members of the Plainfield Central Varsity Football Team assaulting Freshmen members of the team in a sexual manner” and that the three coaches knew about it long before the alleged incident.

“The dreadful experience suffered by these two teenage boys is horrifying not only because it was physically and emotionally traumatizing, but also because it was completely preventable,” attorney Antonio M. Romanucci said in a statement. “Coaches were aware of these gruesome hazing traditions and looked the other way allowing it to happen.”

The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages. It also seeks “an injunction to stop the practice of hazing, train coaches and students on the dangers of hazing and bullying, assign a peer monitor to the school to track its compliance, and to establish a database in District 202 for hazing and bullying complaints,” according to a news release from Romanucci’s office.

Thomas Hernandez, a spokesman for Plainfield Community Consolidated School District 202, said the district has received the lawsuit and its attorneys are examining it. But he declined to comment, saying the district does not discuss pending litigation.

The three men identified as the coaches in the lawsuit — Michael Moderhack, Jon Pereiro and Vincent Vasquez — could not be reached for comment. Moderhack, Pereiro and the athletic director did not respond to emails requesting comment, and the school principal did not immediately return a call.

Plainfield is located about 38 miles (60 kilometers) southwest of Chicago.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

FILE - Fishermen at Shimoni port prepare to head out for their daily catch on June 10, 2022, in Kwa...
Associated Press

Indian Ocean species caught between local, EU interests

MOMBASA, Kenya (AP) — Indian Ocean countries wanting better safeguards for local marine life by updating fishing quotas and restricting harmful catch methods are facing resistance from the European Union, conservation groups say. Officials are gathering in Mombasa, Kenya on Friday for a meeting of the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission — a group of 30 […]
9 hours ago
Associated Press

Eye drops linked to US drug-resistant bacteria outbreak

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. health officials are advising people to stop using over-the-counter eye drops that have been linked to an outbreak of drug-resistant infections. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday night sent a health alert to physicians, saying the outbreak includes at least 55 people in 12 states. One died. […]
9 hours ago
This photo provided by The Ocean Cleanup shows The Ocean Cleanup's founder and CEO Boyan Slat among...
Associated Press

Airbnb’s Joe Gebbia donates $25 million to The Ocean Cleanup

Entrepreneur Joe Gebbia donated $25 million to The Ocean Cleanup Thursday to support the nonprofit’s efforts to remove plastic from the world’s oceans and rivers. Experts in the field welcome both the donation and the attention to the issue of ocean sustainability, pointing out that it receives the least funding of all the United Nations’ […]
9 hours ago
A worker passes a hiring sign at a construction site, Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2023, in Portland, Maine....
Associated Press

US filings for jobless aid lowest since April

U.S. applications for jobless aid fell again last week to their lowest level since April, further evidence that the job market has withstood aggressive rate hikes by the Federal Reserve as it attempts to cool the economy and bring down inflation. Applications for jobless aid in the U.S. for the week ending Jan. 28 fell […]
9 hours ago
Serbia's President Aleksandar Vucic gestures during a special session of Serbia's parliament about ...
Associated Press

Serbia could become ‘pariah’ over Kosovo, president warns

BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — Serbia’s populist president warned during a chaotic parliamentary session on Thursday that the Balkan nation could become a European “pariah” state if it rejects a Western plan for normalizing relations with Kosovo. President Aleksandar Vucic faced a hostile reception from the right-wing opposition, which urged parliament to reject the plan and […]
9 hours ago
Maeleene Jessop, a former member of The Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints,...
Associated Press

Psychedelic churches in US pushing boundaries of religion

HILDALE, Utah (AP) — The tea tasted bitter and earthy, but Lorenzo Gonzales drank it anyway. On that frigid night in remote Utah, he was hoping for a life-changing experience, which is how he found himself inside a tent with two dozen others waiting for the psychedelic brew known as ayahuasca to kick in. Soon, […]
9 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

(Pexels Photo)...

Sports gambling can be fun for adults, but it’s a dangerous game for children

While adults may find that sports gambling is a way to enhance the experience with more than just fandom on the line, it can be a dangerous proposition if children get involved in the activity.
...
Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet edges out cable for everyday use

In a world where technology drives so much of our daily lives, a lack of high-speed internet can be a major issue.
...
Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet can improve everyday life

Quantum Fiber supplies unlimited data with speeds up to 940 mbps, enough to share 4K videos with coworkers 20 times faster than a cable.
Lawsuit: Teens sexually assaulted in high school team hazing