- Associated Press - Friday, January 6, 2017

CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) - A 22-year-old former volunteer high school football coach has entered a no-contest plea in connection to an Oregon hazing incident.

Cooper Kikuta on Thursday pleaded no contest to the misdemeanor charge of criminal mistreatment and was sentenced to 60 hours of community service at the Children’s Farm Home and 12 months’ probation, The Corvallis Gazette-Times reported (https://bit.ly/2hXNGlQ). The sentence does not require any jail time.

The former assistant volunteer coach for Philomath High School was charged along with senior members of the football team for a July hazing initiation in which young members of the team had intimate parts of their bodies targeted at a summer training camp. According to prosecutors the contact was not skin-to-skin and the victim was wearing clothing at the time.

According to court documents, the incident took place between July 9 and 13 during an off-season conditioning camp attended by 35 Philomath High School football players and several coaches at Camp Rilea, a training facility operated by the Oregon National Guard.

Prosecutors argue Kikuta didn’t provide adequate care for the players who were under his supervision.

The juveniles cited in the case have admitted to the allegations against them.

The Philomath school board canceled the school’s varsity football season in the wake of the criminal investigation into the hazing incidents, and the district launched its own internal investigation.

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Information from: Gazette-Times, https://www.gtconnect.com

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