Four JV Football Players Charged as Adults in Damascus High Hazing Case
MoCo State’s Attorney’s Office advised the decision
Four junior varsity football players facing rape charges resulting from a Halloween hazing incident at Damascus High School will now be charged as adults, Montgomery County police said Wednesday.
Police also released the names and ages of the four defendants. Five students were arrested in connection to the case, but the fifth defendant remains charged as a juvenile. Police said the decision to charge the four as adults was made at the direction of the Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office.
Jean Claude Abedi of Clarksburg, Kristian Jamal Lee of Germantown and Will Daniel Smith of Clarksburg are each charged with two counts of first-degree rape, two counts of attempted first-degree rape, and two counts of conspiracy to commit first-degree rape. Caleb Thorpe of Gaithersburg is charged with four counts of first-degree rape and four counts of conspiracy to commit first-degree rape. All four defendants are 15 years old.
A bond review hearing for the defendants will be held on Nov. 26 at 1 p.m. Montgomery County State’s Attorney spokesman Ramón Korionoff said the office declines to make a comment at this time but will provide more information after the hearing.
The charges stem from an Oct. 31 incident in the boys locker room, and all five students are members of the Damascus JV football team, according to a Nov. 3 letter from Montgomery County Public Schools Superintendent Jack Smith. The four males who were allegedly attacked are also believed to be members of the team.
Three defendants were arrested on Nov. 1 and initially charged with one count of second-degree rape and one count of attempted second-degree rape. Two more defendants were arrested on Nov. 2, one charged with three counts of second-degree rape and the other with one count of attempted second-degree rape.
Smith released a statement today in response to the charging amendment in a Montgomery County Public Schools press release.
“MCPS continues to fully cooperate with the police investigation and will continue to provide support and resources for the Damascus High School community,” Smith said. “Our thoughts are with the students, staff and all who have been affected.”