PLAINFIELD, Ill. (CBS) — A civil rights lawsuit has been filed against Plainfield Central High School, two years after we first exposed hazing allegations involving members of the football team.
The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court on Monday by the law firm Romanucci & Blandin LLC.READ MORE: 8-Year-Old Boy Shot, Killed While Playing On Front Porch In Markham
The suit claims two freshmen players on Oct. 17, 2019, two freshman members of the football team were surrounded by older team members, pinned to the ground with a broomstick, and sexually assaulted with the broomstick to the point where it broke – in a ritual known as Code Blue.
The lawsuit claims no coaches were present in the locker room at the time – despite a requirement that coaches be there, and also despite coaches’ prior knowledge that such hazing had been common behavior going back to at least 2014, attorneys said.
The suit also said the district was not transparent about communicating discipline for the students or coaches involved and did not properly report or investigate the incident.READ MORE: Vandal Caught On Camera Trashing Trader Todd's Bar In Lakeview, Leaving Racist And Threatening Graffiti
The plaintiffs in the lawsuit are the parents of two minors. The suit names Plainfield Consolidated School District 202 as a defendant along with three football coaches at the school – Michael Moderhack, Jon Pereiro, and Vincent Vasquez.
CBS 2 first exposed hazing allegations involving members of the Plainfield Central football team in October 2019, four days after the date on which the lawsuit claims the hazing happened. A student had reported four fellow athletes forced the teen to do something the school originally believed fell under potential hazing.
At the time, CBS 2’s Jermont Terry reported the high school notified parents of the complaint through robocalls and letters.MORE NEWS: Chicago Weather: Beach Hazards
Police at that time did not said exactly what the teens did to the other, but investigators insisted the teen did not have bodily injuries. Police later determined whatever happened at the school did not meet the criteria for hazing – though there was discussion of battery charges for the youngsters.