Officials watch for more Plano hazing victims
By Steve Lord firstname.lastname@example.org August 29, 2013 3:18PM
Plano High School in Plano | Steve Lord~Sun-Times Media
Updated: October 1, 2013 6:29AM
PLANO — The investigation into hazing incidents with Plano High School sports teams remains open, largely because investigators have indications there are more than just the three victims they already know about.
Kendall County State’s Attorney Eric Weis said Thursday no new victims have come forward. But he said from the investigation so far, which has been going on since February, investigators have “some information that this has been going on since 2010.”
Plano police and the State’s Attorney’s Office began looking into the situation last February when the mother of a 15-year-old male on a Plano High School sports team told police some teammates of her son held him down while one team member penetrated him with a finger.
That launched the investigation, which resulted in five Plano students, all under 17 at the time of the incidents, being charged this week with criminal sexual assault, aggravated battery and unlawful restraint.
They were charged in connection with multiple incidents that took place in August 2012 and February of this year, involving three victims. Weis said there could be more incidents and more victims, and that the crimes might have been part of ongoing hazing rituals involving the high school’s male football and basketball teams.
“We have enough information to indicate there were more than three victims,” Weis repeated Thursday.
The arrests were made Tuesday night, and the five charged spent the night in the Kane County Juvenile Detention Center. On Wednesday afternoon, a Kendall County judge released all five into the custody of their parents, with one of the offenders being placed on a GPS home monitoring system.
Weis had said that only one of the offenders was charged with the actual penetration. The others were charged for participating by holding the victims down.
Announcement of the charges this week shocked the small, close-knit Plano community, known most recently as the town chosen to be Smallville, the fictional hometown of Superman, in the movie “Man of Steel.”
School officials were scrambling to assure residents they have taken measures to increase supervision at the high school, not just in the locker rooms, but throughout the school. A statement released Thursday by Superintendent Hector Garcia invited parents and guardians to visit the high school and sports practices, beginning on Sept. 3, after the Labor Day weekend.
“We are very saddened by the events and will continue to do everything in our power to keep our students safe and focused on their academic work,” the statement said.
Earlier this week, Principal Eric Benson said changes were made immediately after the complaint was made in February. Plano Police Chief Steve Eaves said he spoke to the school directly about those changes and said he made sure students would be safe at the school.
Anyone with more information, or who wants to report any incidents, should call the Plano Police Department at 630-552-3122.