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BLACKFOOT, Idaho (Reuters) - A small-town Idaho high school student told a court on Wednesday that he was sexually abused by star athletes including one who later joined the powerhouse Boise State football team.
Beau Hoskins, a senior and athlete at the high school in Blackfoot, Idaho, told a packed courtroom that a practice known as "schussing" -- or forcibly penetrating the rectum of a victim with a finger or thumb, happened routinely in the locker room during the 2009-2010 basketball season.
Hoskins was testifying at a preliminary hearing into charges originally filed against Anthony Clarke, a freshman wide receiver for Boise State, Nathan Walker, a tight end for Idaho State University, Logan Chidester, on the football team at Carroll College in Montana, Tyson Katseanes of Blackfoot and an unnamed juvenile who still attends the high school.
Prosecutors on Tuesday dropped the felony offenses against Clarke, Katseanes and the juvenile in a case that has divided the 11,000-population community known for revering its student athletes and prizing its winning sports teams.
Clarke and the other college football players have been suspended from their teams. The 19-year-old Clarke still faces five misdemeanor charges, including three counts of false imprisonment, stemming from the alleged hazing incidents.
Hoskins testified that "schussing" happened repeatedly at the high school during last year's basketball season and described the practice as "a group of people holding someone down, forcibly touching them in inappropriate ways and shoving their fingers where they shouldn't be."
Hoskins said he believed an incident involving Chidester and Walker was sexual abuse.
The student agreed with defense attorneys for the accused that at the time he didn't think the hazing was "that big a deal," but refused to go along with one lawyer's suggestion that it was a kind of prank.
After confirming that Hoskins did not believe the star athletes were intentionally trying to harm him, Justin Oleson, Chidester's attorney, said, "Would you characterize this as stupid high school kid stuff?"
"No, I think it's worse than that," Hoskins said.
Editing by Dan Whitcomb