8:47 PM EDT, May 12, 2010
Fox59 News has learned Hamilton County Grand jury has now entered deliberations in the Carmel High School sexual hazing case. Six jurors and one alternate listened to evidence involving allegations of deviate conduct, criminal confinement and battery.
The preliminary accusations stemmed from a January 22nd basketball team bus ride home from a game in Terre Haute. Two freshman on the bus reportedly were bullied by three senior basketball players who got on the bus.
Four freshman coaches were also on board sitting in the front of the bus while the alleged attack on the two team freshman took place in the back. Another incident that occurred on January 8th was also presented to the grand jury.
That included an incident in the Carmel High School locker room and hazing of at least one freshman. School administrators have refused to comment on the status of their investigation or the status of the three senior players accused or any status of the coaches on the bus.
The grand jury is used as a screening mechanism for prosecutors vetting the strength of a case before filing formal charges. Fox59 News has learned the case includes a number of witnesses on the bus. It's unclear, however, if there are any direct eyewitnesses to exactly what went on during the hazing and to what extent it was sexual bullying.
Sources have told Fox59 News, hazing of freshman players has gone on for years at Carmel High as a rite of passage onto the team. Back in the '90s, there was a similar hazing scandal at Carmel involving members of the swim team. The head coach ultimately lost his job over the scandal.
In this latest case it appears the grand jury maybe struggling with possible charges against the Carmel players. The jury has been deliberating for hours since Wednesday morning.