Athletes charged in Idaho sex hazing scandal appear in court

By Laura Zuckerman

SALMON, Idaho (BestGrowthStock) – A member of Boise State University’s nationally ranked football team and four others who are charged in a sexual hazing case preyed on fellow athletes and sought to recruit more victims in high school, prosecutors said on Thursday.

Three college football players and two others are accused of crimes ranging from forcible sexual penetration with a foreign object to false imprisonment. Police say the offenses were committed beginning in December 2009 by the five, all members of varsity football and basketball teams at Blackfoot High School in southeastern Idaho.

The case has brought a national debate about hazing to bear on Blackfoot, a town of 11,000 people about 20 miles south of Idaho Falls that bills itself as the nation’s potato capital and has forged another identity through powerhouse sports and academic teams.

The accused are Anthony Clarke, now a freshman wide receiver for the Boise State Broncos; Nathan Walker, a tight end for Idaho State University; Logan Chidester, a freshman on the football team at Carroll College in Montana; and Tyson Katseanes of Blackfoot, all 19 years old.

An unnamed juvenile who still attends the high school also is facing charges.

All three college football players have been suspended from their teams.

At their initial appearance in Blackfoot on Thursday, the four adult defendants waived a reading of the charges against them by Idaho Magistrate Judge Charles L. Roos. Roos set a preliminary hearing for January.

Prosecutors told Reuters the accused carefully targeted as many as six fellow players on the basketball team even as they eyed widening the pool of victims in sex crimes that transgressed what is commonly understood as hazing, or a traditional ritual used to initiate a person or group.

Bingham County Prosecutor Scott Andrew said the crimes escalated from one year to the next.

“They were branching out to get more people, selecting whoever they wanted to pick on and who they would leave alone,” he said.

The sex offenses occurred in a locker room and on a school bus when adults were not present, authorities said.

Thursday’s hearing came one day after Boise State defeated Utah, 26-3, in the MAACO Bowl in Las Vegas.

(Editing by Steve Gorman and Peter Bohan)

Athletes charged in Idaho sex hazing scandal appear in court