(WHEATON, Ill.) — Four of the five Wheaton College football players facing felony charges for allegedly assaulting another student pleaded not guilty on Monday morning.
The five athletes were suspended from the football team at the Christian school after being charged with aggravated battery, mob action and unlawful restraint.
The alleged incident happened in March 2016 in Wheaton, Illinois, during which a man said he was taken forcefully out of his dorm room, restrained against his will and left at a baseball field, Wheaton police said.
The alleged victim told school investigators he was in a dorm when several people burst in, held him down, “violently” pulled his arms behind him and wrapped duct tape around his ankles and wrists, according to an investigation report obtained by ABC News.
The attackers put a pillowcase on his head and duct-taped it, and put him into a car, the alleged victim told investigators.
The alleged victim told investigators his attackers attempted to sexually assault him with an object, and that he was also punched and slapped.
He told investigators he was taken to a baseball field; he said dirt was thrown on him, his cellphone was taken and he was left there partially naked.
The alleged victim, who left Wheaton College shortly after the alleged incident, told school investigators he suffered labral tears on both shoulders from the way his arms were pulled and restrained.
An attorney for one of the accused students, Noah Spielman, said last month his client was “disappointed” and “frustrated,” the Chicago Tribune reported.
“There are three things in life that he absolutely adores: his faith, his family and his passion for school,” the attorney said.
Wheaton College said in a statement last month that it was “deeply troubled by the allegations.”
The school said, “when this incident was brought to our attention by other members of the football team and coaching staff in March 2016, the College took swift action to initiate a thorough investigation.”
The school said the “conduct we discovered as a result of our investigation into this incident was entirely unacceptable.”
The school also said it “fully cooperated with law enforcement in their investigation.”
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