Prosecutors to drop charge against Boise State athlete

Tue Jan 4, 2011 6:56pm EST
 
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By Laura Zuckerman

SALMON, Idaho (Reuters) - Prosecutors said on Tuesday they would drop a felony sex charge against a member of the Boise State football team in a sensational hazing case at a small-town Idaho high school.

Anthony Clarke, a freshman wide receiver for the powerhouse football program at Boise State, still faces misdemeanor charges, including three counts of false imprisonment, Bingham County Prosecutor Randy Smith said.

Clarke and four others were charged last month with forcible sexual penetration, battery and false imprisonment stemming from what prosecutors say was the 2009 abuse of fellow athletes on the high school basketball team in Blackfoot, Idaho.

The case has fastened attention on the 11,000-population town near Idaho Falls, Idaho amid a national debate about high school hazing, bullying and harassment.

In addition to Clarke and an unnamed juvenile, the accused were Nathan Walker, a tight end for the Idaho State Bengals; Logan Chidester, a freshman on the football team at Carroll College in Montana; and Tyson Katseanes of Blackfoot, all 19.

Katseanes' attorney, Brian Goates, told Reuters that his client had agreed to plead guilty to simple battery, a misdemeanor, and will face a year's probation as well as 20 hours of community service.

'DIFFICULT TO DEAL WITH'

Katseanes and other stars of the high school's winning teams were engaged in little more than horseplay in incidents that happened in a locker room and on a school bus, Goates said.   Continued...