Friday, August 31, 2012
Ex-player alleges teammate abuse
KOCHVILLE TOWNSHIP, Mich. -- A freshman Saginaw Valley State football player told police he was the victim of sexual abuse by veteran teammates after refusing to sing at dinner, according to a university police report.
The 25-page report details an investigation into the claim of the 17-year-old, who has since left the university. The teen alleged he was approached by teammates and asked if he would sing in front of the team at dinner on Aug. 13, a tradition for new players. After he said no and indicated he'd already sung twice, numerous teammates responded by surrounding him in the locker room, including some who touched him with their genitals, according to the report.
The report, first obtained by Mlive.com through a Freedom of Information Act request, said the suspects denied any physical contact with the teen, while witnesses -- all football players -- told police they did not see any contact or were not sure if there was contact. The report says the teen's version of events changed during his three interviews.
The report includes summaries of interviews with the teen, suspects and 14 witnesses, though all names were redacted.
Results of the investigation have been turned over to Saginaw County prosecutors to determine whether charges are warranted. Prosecutor Mike Thomas said Friday that he does not comment on pending investigations.
University spokesman J.J. Boehm said five players were suspended for Saturday's game as a result of the investigation.
The teen, who had been on campus only five days, told police he wanted charges filed. He told investigators "that he knew SVSU wanted to win football games and that he did not want the upperclassmen who did this to just get suspended and then be invited back to win football games," the report said.