PHOENIX (KSAZ) - A Hamilton High School football player accused in connection to a brutal hazing scandal has been released from jail.
Nathaniel Thomas, 17, is facing multiple felony charges, including sexual assault, kidnapping, molestation and aggravated assault. Thomas, along with two 16-year-old students, are being charged in connection to the scandal, however, Thomas is the only one being charged as an adult.
According to earlier statements from prosecutors, however, requests have been made to charge the two 16-year-olds as adults as well.
Thomas had been held in jail for nearly a week without bond, but a judge agreed to lower the bond to $25,000. Prosecutors had asked the judge to keep Thomas jailed for 30 more days as police continue to interview more potential victims.
Thomas' lawyer has denied all charges against his client.
On Thursday, the first thing Thomas did when he was let go from jail was to embrace his mother.
"While they were certainly violated, and they certainly feel very strongly about what happened to them, they also have some empathy and they didn't want to see any of these young men remain in custody," said Dan Raynak, an attorney who is representing three of the four alleged hazing victims, as well as their families.
So far, two of the boys were reportedly transferred to different high schools, because of the intense backlash they have received after they came forward.
According to Raynak, the alleged victims have received death threats from the suspects, as well as the suspects' friends.
"It's really a sad state of affairs when these individuals did not want to come forward, were reluctant because of this type of backlash where football is a priority over someone being victimized and suffering a traumatic event that will haunt them for the rest of their lives," said Raynak.
Although Thomas is now released from jail, he has been ordered to wear a GPS ankle monitor, and to stay off of social media.