DEXTER, Maine — Three Dexter Regional High School students will be charged with assault stemming from an alleged hazing incident at the school last month, police said.
Two students will each be charged with two counts of assault, while the third will be charged with one count of assault, said Dexter Police Detective Sgt. Alan Grinnell on Friday. All charges are Class D misdemeanors.
The 12th graders were not named by police because they are minors.
Dexter Police Chief Kevin Wintle said late Friday afternoon that the students “have not yet been summonsed, but we’re in the process.”
The alleged hazing incidents happened during an overnight event for the high school’s football team on Nov. 16 and 17.
SAD 46 Superintendent Kevin Jordan said a total of 12 students were suspended for their roles in the hazing.
Four students were suspended from school for 10 days, two were suspended seven days and six were suspended for one day, Jordan said. The students are also barred from participating in competitive afterschool events for periods ranging from one week to one month, depending on involvement.
Court dates for the juveniles are set for February.
“DRHS has remained very cooperative throughout my investigation,” said Grinnell in a statement.
The perpetrators and victims were all minors.
After the SAD 46 board of directors meeting on Dec. 5, one mother, who asked not to be identified, said her son had his pants pulled down while three players took turns hitting his backside with a polycarbonate bat.
“It’s not the yellow bat at Walmart,” she said.
“The boy that hit my child backed up several feet and made him pull his pants down and ran six or seven feet to get more on his hit,” she said.
There were five hazing incidents, according to Jordan. The first occurred at 4:30 p.m. on Nov. 16, while the other four happened between 4:30 and 5:15 a.m. on Nov. 17. Three of the five incidents were caught on the school’s video surveillance system.
All of the suspended students were back in school as of Dec. 6, said Jordan.
Wintle said incidents like this won’t be tolerated by his department.
“I feel this is very, very troublesome and disturbing,” said Wintle. “The ones that are responsible will be brought to justice on it. I have zero tolerance for anything like this.”
Close to 70 hours went into the investigation, he said.
“It was a very difficult investigation. It was lengthy and so many people were involved. We did a very, very thorough investigation,” said Wintle.
Wintle said he is bothered that his budget doesn’t allow him to install a school resource officer.
“We’re definitely going to be looking at grants in the future,” said Wintle, who spent nearly three years as a school resource officer at Nokomis Regional High School in Newport. “That’s one thing I tried to get in place when I took office.”
For now, police will try to make more trips to the schools, said Dexter’s police chief.