Teens charged in connection with Hamilton High School hazing incident

- The Maricopa County Attorney's Office announced late Thursday afternoon that three teenagers have been charged, in connection with a hazing incident involving students at two East Valley schools, including Hamilton High School in Chandler.

According to a statement, one 17-year-old is charged with alleged Sexual Assault, alleged Kidnapping, and alleged Aggravated Assault. That 17-year-old is reportedly being charged as an adult.

In addition, two 16-year-olds are being charged with alleged Kidnapping, alleged Aggravated Assault, and alleged Assault in juvenile court. Officials said, however, that prosecutors in the case have asked the court to consider transferring the two to the adult system.

Officials did not release the identities of the three people charged. A 15-year-old suspect may also be charged at a later date.

For Hamilton High, whose football program has been recognized for its strength in Arizona, the incident has rocked the program.

"Shocked," said Harold Slemmer, Executive Director of the Arizona Interscholastic Association (AIA). "Amazed that something like this was going on."

According to the AIA, it is up to the school district to discipline the players. According to the Hamilton High School Student Handbook that was obtained from the school's website, hazing appears on a list of infractions, and is listed as an offense that can result in suspension or expulsion.

As for the personal futures of the teens involved, that may be up to the prosecutors, and there have been cases where students have served jail time, as a result of hazing. In 2000, eight athletes from Winslow High School were indicted and sentenced to jail, in connection with hazing.

Meanwhile, in 2016, eight players were kicked off the Paradise Valley High School football team for the season, because of a hazing incident.

"There's no question there's a different attitude today towards all hazing, at all levels. It's just something that isn't appropriate with human beings," said Slemmer. "Football bonding, bringing kids together, is about being part of the team, and feeling good about being part of the team."

The district is urging those with information on the incidents to call Chandler Police.

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