Charges unlikely to come from hazing allegations against Tri-State football team, prosecutor says

Published: Sep. 15, 2021 at 1:12 PM EDT
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CINCINNATI (WXIX) - Hamilton County Prosecutor Joseph T. Deters says it is “highly unlikely” charges will be filed in connection with the hazing allegations involving the combined Western Hills/Dater football program.

The Aug. 30 incident caught on video shows football players in the locker room grabbing and pulling down the pants of another boy, Deters explained.

In the video, which lasts about a minute Deters says, the boy’s pants are eventually pulled down, leaving his privates exposed for less than a second.

Prosecutor Deters says he saw the video and reviewed the facts, which led him to say charges against those involved are unlikely.

In the aftermath of the video’s social media circulation, CPS fired coach Armand Tatum, canceled games, and recommended expulsion for those involved.

CPS said on Sept. 2, when FOX19 NOW first reported the story, “appropriate disciplinary consequences” would be given.

Deters’ comments Wednesday suggest the school district went too far with its punishments.

He condemned both the firing of coach Tatum and the pausing of the football season, which he said were overreactions by CPS.

“By all accounts, [coach Tatum] was a positive influence in these kids’ lives,” Deters said. “. . . This coach was providing necessary guidance and rules for these kids, which is needed for boys of this age. Why we would take any of that away from these students is beyond me.”

Deters’ thoughts on coach Tatum are shared by some of those who knew him best.

A petition with nearly 1,000 signatures a few weeks ago called for Tatum to be reinstated as the coach.

Players and families held a rally to voice their support for the football coach.

CPS has not made any comments on whether they will reverse their decision regarding coach Tatum.

CPS says a team meeting will be held Thursday to provide an update on resuming practice and play.

As for the student targeted in the locker room video, his mother has hired a lawyer, according to Deters.

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