Felony Charges Reduced in Hazing Case, Records Sealed

Felony assault charges against three Rye teenagers were reduced Tuesday in their nationally-publicized hazing case. After negotiations with the Westchester District Attorney’s office, the trio pleaded “not guilty” to misdemeanor charges at City Court, sending the case behind closed doors.

Published October 18, 2012 4:23 PM
2 min read

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Felony assault charges against three Rye teenagers were reduced Tuesday in their nationally-publicized hazing case. After negotiations with the Westchester District Attorney’s office, the trio pleaded “not guilty” to misdemeanor charges at City Court, sending the case behind closed doors.

 

By Jon Craig

 

Felony assault charges against three Rye teenagers were reduced Tuesday in their nationally-publicized hazing case. After negotiations with the Westchester District Attorney’s office, the trio pleaded “not guilty” to misdemeanor charges at City Court, sending the case behind closed doors.

 

The boys, all seniors at Rye High School, stood beside their lawyers and mothers before Judge Joseph Latwin. After entering “not guilty” pleas to misdemeanor assault, hazing, and unlawful imprisonment charges, Latwin ruled that the records are sealed and all proceedings closed due to their youthful offender status. The Rye Record does not print the names of offenders who are under 18 years old.

 

As they entered City Court in front of six TV camera crews and a dozen news reporters, the boys and their parents declined to comment. The students are accused of paddling eighth-graders during a freshman hazing incident last spring. 

 

Each of the teenagers initially was charged with a felony count of second-degree assault. That charge was reduced to a misdemeanor assault charge Tuesday along with misdemeanor counts of first-degree hazing and second-degree unlawful imprisonment.

 

The accused were juniors when police said they forced several eighth graders into a car in front of the Rye Public Library on June 1 and drove them to Marshlands Conservancy, a County-owned property. County police said a two-by-four was used to beat the Rye Middle School students’ buttocks and legs.

  

The proceedings were immediately closed Tuesday morning, because the three boys are now treated as youthful offenders. Judge Latwin ordered the public and media out of the courtroom.

 

The three teens appeared at the 11 a.m. hearing wearing ties. They sat quietly together in court. The outcome of Tuesday’s hearing, and any plea deal, was unclear and may never be known officially.

 

Afterward, Andrew Rubin, one of the boy’s attorneys, told reporters: “The proceedings are sealed.”

 

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