Six teens are accused of assaulting two minors in June.
The suspects are all part of a baseball team in Mitchell, South Dakota.
Two adults have also been charged in connection with the alleged crime.
One teen said he isn’t worried about the charges at all.
(NewsReady.com) – Rape is one of the most serious crimes a person can be accused of committing. That’s exactly what two victims said six teenagers in South Dakota did to them. Two of the teenagers are facing more than a century in prison if they are convicted.
The Alleged Crime
In June, baseball players from South Dakota’s Mitchell Post 18 American Legion varsity baseball players played a tournament in Rapid City. Two male victims, both 16 years old, claimed they were assaulted.
The investigation began after the Mitchell Baseball Association suspended the team’s activities after allegations of misconduct arose. In August, police arrested 18-year-old Carter Miller, 17-year-old Karter Sibson, 17-year-old Peyton Mandel, 18-year-old Hudson Haley, 19-year-old Landon Waddell, and 18-year-old Lincoln Bates.
Waddell and Haley are facing up to 150 years in prison and were charged with the most serious crimes. Haley was charged with aiding and abetting rape and two counts of rape. Waddell was charged with two counts of aiding and abetting rape and one count of rape. The other four baseball players were each facing a count of aiding and abetting rape and a count of second-degree rape. They are facing 50 years each. They’ve all pleaded not guilty.
The crime was characterized as a hazing incident, but Lara Roetzel, the Pennington County state’s attorney, rejected that claim. She called the crime “forcible assault.” She said that calling it a hazing incident “minimizes and undermines the situation,” that allegedly involved “two sexual assaults.”
Two Mitchell baseball officials — Legion Coach Luke Norden and Mitchell Baseball Association Board Member Jeremy Borgan — were charged with misdemeanors, including failure to report the abuse or neglect of a child.
Teen Not Worried
The Daily Mail interviewed Lincoln Bates about the charges against him. He told the website that he is “innocent of the charges,” calling them “bogus.” In South Dakota, second-degree rape is defined as sexual penetration by the use of force. Bates claimed the charges were false because “there was no penetration.”
Bates said he isn’t worried about the trial and potential sentence because he won’t be found guilty.
Haley’s parents told the website that they weren’t allowed to discuss the case because of a gag order, but encouraged reporters to keep investigating it. Waddell’s dad said he expects more information to come out as the process moves forward.
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