White high school football players in Idaho charged with raping black, disabled teammate with a coat hanger

John R.K. Howard (Photo from Tarrant County, Texas)

When a teammate held out his arms after football practice in their high school locker-room, the boy thought he was about to get a hug. Instead, he got viciously raped, authorities say.

As the teammate restrained the boy, another football player allegedly thrust a coat hanger into the boy’s rectum. Then a third teammate kicked the coat hanger several times, according to a criminal complaint.

The Victim Said That in August 2015, He Was Beaten Unconscious By Howard During a Team Building Exercise

The Oct. 23, 2015 incident has rocked the tiny town of Dietrich, Idaho. This spring, after several months of investigation, the state Attorney General’s office filed sexual assault charges against all three alleged attackers. Two of the teenagers are being charged as adults and could face life in prison, under Idaho Law.

John R.K. Howard, 18, a transfer student from Texas, and Tanner Ward (pictured), 17, are being tried as adults due to the seriousness of the crime and could face up to life in prison,

Earlier this month, the case took an even darker turn when the boy’s family filed a $10 million lawsuit against Dietrich High School.

According to the lawsuit, the alleged rape wasn’t a one-off but rather the culmination of months of racist abuse by white students against the boy, who is black.

The boy “was taunted and called racist names by other members of the team which names included ‘Kool-Aid’ ‘chicken eater’ ‘watermelon’ and [the N-word],” the suit alleges.

The civil complaint filed in the U.S. District Court in Idaho also claims that one of the students charged with sexual assault displayed a Confederate flag and demanded the boy recite a racist song titled “Notorious KKK.”

All three of the boy’s attackers were white, the suit says.

The suit, which names the 18-year-old boy, was provided to The Washington Post by his attorney. However, The Post generally does not name victims of sexual assault.

In addition to Dietrich High School, the lawsuit also names 11 employees as defendants. It claims school administrators and coaches did nothing to stop the racial and physical abuse towards the boy, who was especially vulnerable due to “mental disorders including learning disabilities.”

The suit even claims that Dietrich football coaches encouraged other players to fight the boy, allowing a much larger student to knock the boy unconscious as other students shouted “catcalls, taunts and racial epithets.”

Dietrich High School did not respond to a request for comment.

Source: The Washington Post

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