Fifth Wheaton football player pleads not guilty in hazing case

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James Cooksey (top left), Kyler S. Kregel, Benjamin Pettway, Noah Spielman and Samuel TeBos. | Provided photo

A fifth Wheaton College football player charged with battery in the hazing of a teammate at the suburban Chicago school has pleaded not guilty.

Twenty-two-year-old James Cooksey of Jacksonville, Florida, appeared at a Monday arraignment in DuPage County. He’s due back in court Jan. 11 along with the other four who earlier appeared in court in the case. They’ve also pleaded not guilty.

All five are accused of duct-taping their teammate, then dumping him half-naked in a park in March 2016. Each was charged in September with aggravated battery, mob action and unlawful restraint. The most serious charge carries a maximum five-year prison term.

Their victim also told police his attackers attempted to sodomize him with an object. He has since left the school.

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