By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
According to the Arizona Republic, six Hamilton High School football players have been arrested on suspicion of sexual assault, kidnapping, and aggravated assault. The Chandler, Arizona natives were arrested in connection with a hazing incident of current and former players.
The Hamilton football team has won seven state championships since 2003.
The law enforcement officials allege that the incidents happened during a 17-month period. They also allege “it involved multiple male juvenile victims.”
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Chandler police Sgt. Daniel Mejia said that one of the suspects is now an adult. However, they have not released the names of the suspects.
The Arizona Republic says that the victims range from 16 to 18 years old. All of the suspects were at the Chandler police station late Wednesday afternoon, according to Mejia.
Five of the alleged suspects go to Hamilton High School. The other alleged suspect goes to Chief Hill Learning Academy part-time, which is also in the Chandler United School District.
The police investigation also included several staff members, including football coaches. However, Mejia said they are not considered suspects.
“The District has been cooperating with Chandler Police relative to hazing allegations involving students,” the school statement said. “[Wednesday], police arrested six students in association with the investigation. Chandler Police are in control of this matter, and the District cannot discuss [the] details, but has been instructed to defer all questions to the Chandler Police.”
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Hamilton High School opened in 1998 and the football program started a year later. Their head coach is Steve Belles, who has been the head coach since 2006 – and he helped guide the team to five of the seven state championships.
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