DAMASCUS, Md. — Police in Maryland say four teens were charged as adults with first-degree rape in connection with a junior varsity football hazing.
News outlets quote Montgomery County police as saying that 15-year-olds Jean Claude Abedi, Kristian Jamal Lee, Will Daniel Smith and Caleb Thorpe were arrested on the adult charges Wednesday. A fifth teen is charged as a juvenile with second-degree rape. Police did not release that teen's name.
Police say the Damascus High School students attacked four boys in October in what the principal described as "an assault involving a broom." The suspects and victims told police the assaults were part of a hazing ritual.
The suspects attacked teammates in a locker room after turning off the lights, according to court records. Two victims reported being pinned down.
Many people have noted that the crime has similarities to a violent locker room rape scene in the second season of the Netflix drama "Thirteen Reasons Why."
Abedi's lawyer said he'd plead not guilty. Lawyers for Smith and Thorpe said the case should have remained in juvenile court. Lee's attorney declined to comment.