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

Wheaton College football players appear in court in hazing case

SHARE Wheaton College football players appear in court in hazing case
SHARE Wheaton College football players appear in court in hazing case

Four of five Wheaton College football players accused of hazing a teammate pleaded not guilty to felony charges on Monday.

Appearing in a DuPage County courtroom were Kyler Kregal, Ben Pettway, Noah Spielman and Samuel TeBos, the Daily Herald reported.

The fifth player, James W. Cooksey, is due to appear in court Nov. 13, according to the Daily Herald.

Arrest warrants had been issued last month for Cooksey, 22, of Jacksonville, Florida; Kregel, 21, of Grand Rapids, Michigan; Pettway, 21, of Lookout Mount, Georgia; Spielman, 21, of Columbus, Ohio; and Tebos, 22, of Allendale, Michigan, according to the city of Wheaton.

The players’ charges areaggravated battery, unlawful restraint and mob action, according to the city.

Police were first called about 11:20 p.m. March 19, 2016, to Central DuPage Hospital in Winfield, where the victim said he was seriously injured when the five players attacked him and left him in a field with his limbs secured with duct tape, according to the city.

Wheaton College spokeswoman LaTonya Taylor said at the time charges were filed that the college strives to provide an educational environment that is free of hazing and “practices our values as a Christian community,” and was therefore “deeply troubled” by the accusations.

Taylor said the college took “swift action” to investigate the allegations after the incident was brought to administrators’ attention by other football team members and coaches.

The school hired an independent, third-party investigator to look into the accusations and took “a range of corrective actions,” Taylor said. The college withheld the details of the corrective actions, citing federal student privacy protections.

That discipline included one-game suspensions and community service.

Contributing: Mitchell Armentrout, Sun-Times Wire

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