Wheaton College Football Players Charged for Violent Attack

Five team members received felonies for 2016 incident that left a 19-year-old freshman student bound, beaten on baseball field

Five Wheaton College football players charged are: James Cooksey, from left, Kyler Kregel, Benjamin Pettway, Noah Spielman and Samuel TeBos. Credit: Lou Foglia/Chicago Tribune/TNS/Newscom

Five Wheaton College football players were charged with felonies for a violent hazing incident in 2016, wherein a fellow student was found beaten and bound on a baseball field, the New York Times reports. The students – James Cooksey, Kyler Kregel, Benjamin Pettway, Noah Spielman and Samuel Tebos – were charged with crimes that included mob action, unlawful restraint and aggravated battery.

According to the report, the football players took the 19-year-old freshman from his dorm room, restrained him with duct tape, removed his clothes and threatened to rape him. The football players were punished internally, according to the Chicago Tribune, and have cooperated with the 18-month investigation. 

Wheaton head coach Mike Swider did not immediately return Rolling Stone's request for comment. 

Three of the charged players participated in last week's game for Wheaton, an evangelical school, is ranked Number Four in Division III. The five players are no longer on the team, per a spokeswoman for the school, but are still listed on the school's online roster as of this writing. 

"We have all seen situations where young men engage in foolish and immature conduct," the victim's attorney, Terry Ekl told the New York Times. "What was done to our client in this case is far beyond what is acceptable behavior or which can be dismissed as merely harmless hazing."