Prosecutors drop felony charges in Idaho hazing case

Wed Jan 5, 2011 11:44pm EST
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By Laura Zuckerman

BLACKFOOT, Idaho (Reuters) - Prosecutors dropped felony sexual abuse charges on Wednesday against the remaining two of five athletes accused of victimizing fellow members of a basketball team at a small-town high school in Idaho.

The star athletes, one a walk-on with Boise State University's nationally ranked football team, still face misdemeanor charges for hazing incidents that authorities said happened between December 2009 and February 2010 while all attended the high school in Blackfoot, Idaho.

Bingham County Prosecutor Scott Andrew said the state decided to stand down on felony charges of forceable penetration after Idaho Magistrate Judge Charles L. Roos asked attorneys during the break if they had sought a resolution.

The move by prosecutors came during a preliminary hearing in the case and followed testimony by Beau Hoskins, a senior at the high school, who said he had been the victim of sexual abuse during the 2009-2010 basketball season.

Hoskins said all the accused were involved in the abuse, naming Anthony Clarke, a wide receiver for Boise State, Nathan Walker, a tight end for Idaho State University, Logan Chidester, a member of the football team at Carroll College in Montana, and Tyson Katseanes of Blackfoot.

Authorities also charged an unnamed juvenile.

Prosecutors on Tuesday had 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.

Hoskins told a packed courtroom on Wednesday 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.   Continued...