Graphic by Mark Schaefer
Four Damascus High School JV football players will be charged as adults for first degree rape and an additional three counts of conspiracy to commit rape, decided in a Nov. 26 hearing. The students were released on a $20,000 bond and could serve a maximum penalty of life in prison.
Maryland state law requires any minor over the age of 14 charged with first degree rape to be charged as an adult. Four 15 year-old suspects have been identified while a fifth suspect being charged as a juvenile remains unidentified. The four alleged victims are all 14 years-old and have not been identified.
“The defendant’s conduct was astonishingly cruel,” Montgomery Deputy State’s Attorney Peter Feeney said in court, as reported by Bethesda Magazine. “These crimes were intended to inflict pain, degrade and humiliate the weaker members of the football team.”