CHICAGO (CBS) — One of the five Wheaton College football players accused in a hazing scandal pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge on Thursday, as part of a plea deal that saw prosecutors drop all felony charges against him.
Five players were accused of abducting a teammate from his dorm room, restraining him with duct tape, putting a pillowcase over his head, attempting to sodomize him with an object, and dumping him half-naked in a baseball field in March 2016.
The victim, 21-year-old Charles Nagy, said he suffered injuries that prevented him from playing football again. He has since left the school.
James Cooksey, Kyler Kregel, Benjamin Pettway, Noah Spielman, and Samuel TeBos were charged with multiple counts of felony aggravated battery, mob action and unlawful restraint.
At a hearing in DuPage County on Thursday, Spielman agreed to allow his defense attorney and a DuPage County prosecutor go into the judge’s private chamber to discuss the case. They came out with an agreement to dismiss all nine felony counts against him, and a guilty plea to a misdemeanor battery charge.
Spielman was sentenced to a year of probation, and ordered to perform 100 hours of community service.
An attorney for Nagy said he is satisfied with the plea deal.
“We believe it to be a fair resolution of the case against Mr. Spielman. The victim and his family believe it is important that this defendant has admitted his guilt and accepted responsibility for his actions,” attorney Terry Ekl said in an email.
A Spielman family representative said they are very happy with the resolution of the case. Spielman, the son of former NFL star linebacker Chris Spielman, planned to return to Columbus, Ohio, on Thursday.’
The other four players have pleaded not guilty. It was unclear if any of them also were negotiating plea deals.
Last week, Nagy filed a civil lawsuit against seven former teammates, the coaching staff, and the administration, accusing the school of turning a blind eye to hazing, and implementing a sham policy it never enforced.
Spielman was not one of the seven teammates named in the lawsuit. Nagy’s attorney said his client has been engaged in settlement talks with Spielman.