Ardmore Hazing Investigation Complete, Prosecutors Release Findi - KTEN.com - Texoma news, weather and sports

Ardmore Hazing Investigation Complete, Prosecutors Release Findings

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ARDMORE, OK -- An investigation into claims of hazing by student athletes at Ardmore High School is now over.

It all started back in February when school administrators asked Ardmore police to investigate claims of hazing involving players on the schools baseball team.

Prosecutors say it happened inside the Ardmore High School fieldhouse.

The case was originally turned into the Carter County district attorney's office.  

     

But after district attorney Craig Ladd recused himself --citing a potential conflict of interest-- Attorney General Scott Pruitt  handed the case over to the Pontotoc County district attorneys office.

After discussing the matter at length with family members, 22nd district prosecutor Chris Ross says out of three offenders --two students considered as adults-- were given deferred prosecution agreements.

"Some of [family members] didn't want any more action taken," said Ross. "They didn't want their children involved in the court system as witnesses and so forth. Others did not feel that way."

Details on the third offender --a minor-- have not been released.

Ardmore superintendent Sonny Bates confirmed disciplinary action was taken on students in the early stages of the investigation, but no specifics were given.

"[There were] suspensions for the individuals involved," said Ross.

During his review of the case, Ross says similar activity had taken place before.

"Something not always the same thing," said Ross. "The great majority of the people interviewed knew there was going to be some type of hazing event and that this had gone on for several years."

Ross says what usually takes place on an out of town trip to a tournament took place in the locker room.

"They were taking a stick and poking in the rear end area," said Ross.

Before the case was turned over to him, Ross says he had heard rumors the hazing included activities of a sexual nature.

"That just wasn't true," said Ross. "That type of thing didn't happen. All of the people were at all times dressed."

Ross says a misdemeanor hazing charge carries a maximum of six months in jail and a $500 fine.

"To me what it came down to was there was little to gain from going to court when I counterbalanced it to putting them on the DPA and getting the same thing that I expected I would get from the judge," said Ross.

The terms of the prosecution agreement last one year and includes a no contact clause with any of the listed victims or their families.

The Ardmore superintendent told KTEN News that school staff are looking into making safety improvements over the summer to ensure student athlete safety at the fieldhouse.