Most adults recognize that hazing is wrong, but not all teenagers do. Part of being a teenager is learning what is right, what is wrong and what is criminal; many teens are testing the waters so that they have a better idea of what they can and cannot do. Two Minnesota teens from Browerville now know that hazing is wrong after they were charged with and plead guilty to fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct.
It is still unknown exactly what punishment the teenagers will be facing, but it appears that they were both charged as adults. That may only be because they had recently turned 18, however, and would not be able to be charged as children, not because of the severity of the crime. It is possible, however, that because they were charged with sex crimes, that they may be forced to register as sex offenders.
The allegations that the teenagers faced clearly seem inappropriate and wrong, but it is likely that many people would debate whether they were criminal. The most recent teenager to have been charged was accused of touching students in a sexual manner. The then-18 year old allegedly would grab other students and touch them inappropriately. It appears that in one instance, he removed some clothing and pressed his genitals into another’s back.
While it is clear that these boys need to learn what is and what is not acceptable behavior, it may be somewhat extreme to condemn them to a criminal record, criminal punishment and potentially forcing them to register as sex offenders. Because of the serious nature of these consequences, it is always important, no matter a defendant’s age, to seek out an experienced criminal defense attorney whenever police suspect them of sexual assault.
Source: CBS Minnesota, “Browerville Basketball Player Pleads Guilty In Hazing Incident,” April 24, 2013
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