A 13-year-old boy was sodomized by a group of his peers last year, but instead of rushing to his defense, the small Colorado town in which he lived took sides with his tormentors.
Bloomberg News reports that during a high school wrestling tournament in Denver last February, three upperclassmen from Norwood, Colorado cornered the 13-year-old on an empty school bus, bound him with duct tape and sodomized him with a pencil as some form of hazing ritual.
The boy was the son of Norwood’s k-12 principal, who, after reporting the incident to police, was forced to resign by the townspeople. Students lodged protests against the victim, putting “Go to Hell” stickers on his locker and wearing T-shirts supporting his attackers.
Making matter worse, two of the attackers were sons of Robert Harris, the wrestling coach and president of the school board. When the victim’s father confronted Harris, he claims the coach said nothing had happened, only to later tell him, “This happens 1,000 times a day around the U.S.”
According to Bloomberg, more than 40 high school boys were sodomized with foreign objects by their teammates in over a dozen alleged incidents reported in the past year alone; an alarming increase from just three such reported incidents a decade ago.
Due to his personal involvement with the case, the principal stepped aside and let school officials dole out punishment. He had hoped they would handle the perpetrators properly, but he was severly disappointed when Superintendent David Crewes gave them a measly one-day in-school suspension. Harris recused himself from the board’s discussions and eventually resigned.
Neither Crewes nor the school board reported the incident to police, leaving the victim’s father no other choice but to do so himself. The three boys were arrested and charged as juveniles with kidnapping, sexual assault and false imprisonment. News of the arrest spread like wildfire through the town of 500, and the victim and his family were the ones who inevitably got burned.