- Associated Press - Tuesday, August 19, 2014

BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) - Five former Vermont football players have pleaded not guilty to assault charges stemming from what police say were initiations involving sexual assaults with broom sticks or pool cues in 2011 and 2012.

Court documents released Tuesday allege the Milton High School players, now between ages 18 and 20, held the initiations at homes and at the high school.

Three of the five appeared in court Tuesday in Burlington to answer the charges of simple assault. Two others were out of state. All pleaded not guilty.

The Burlington Free Press (http://bfpne.ws/1yWvEwZ ) reports that one victim told police he refused to report the assault at the time because of concerns it could lead to the cancellation of the football season and he did not want to be blamed.

___

Information from: The Burlington Free Press, http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com