2 plead not guilty in teen hazing case

2010-01-27T14:20:00Z 2 plead not guilty in teen hazing caseBy GREG TUTTLE Of The Gazette Staff The Billings Gazette
January 27, 2010 2:20 pm  • 

Two former Huntley Project High School football players expelled for an alleged hazing incident denied felony assault charges Wednesday.

Zachary Peavy, 16, and Rico Rodriguez, 15, appeared in Youth Court before Judge Susan Watters. The teens are accused of assaulting a teammate with a stick before a practice Nov. 17.

Prosecutors claim that Rodriguez held the alleged victim, a 15-year-old freshman, while Peavy hit him with the stick, causing “bodily injury.” Peavy is charged with felony assault. Rodriguez is charged with felony assault by accountability.

Watters released the teens without bond. Peavy was released to a male relative, and Rodriguez was released to his parents. Peavy told Watters that he is not currently enrolled in school. Rodriguez’s hired attorney, Paula Saye-Dooper, said her client is attending classes at Tumbleweeds.

The teens were kicked off the school football team as a result of the alleged assault, which school officials have described as a hazing incident that got out of hand. Both were later expelled from the school.

Watters said a trial date would be set later after both defense attorneys said they were requesting their case be heard by a jury. Watters told the teens that they faced a maximum penalty if convicted in Youth Court of placement with the state Department of Corrections until age 18, and additional supervision until age 25.

Copyright 2014 The Billings Gazette. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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