Thursday, September 18
Authorities are investigating reported sexual assaults

Associated Press

BELLMORE, N.Y. -- A Long Island school board has unanimously voted to end a high school football team's season amid allegations that some players were sexually assaulted by older teammates at a training camp in Pennsylvania last month.

The Bellmore-Merrick school board decided at a Wednesday night closed-door meeting to cancel all of the Mepham High School football team's games. The decision affects both the varsity and junior varsity squads. Their first game was to have been Saturday against H. Frank Carey High School in Franklin Square.

Thomas Caramore, the district's superintendent, was not immediately available for comment Thursday morning, but a receptionist in his office said, "The season is canceled."

Authorities are investigating accusations that players were sexually abused during a hazing rite while the team was at Camp Wayne for Girls in Preston Park, Pa.

Newsday reported that three varsity players allegedly sodomized three junior varsity players with a broomstick, pine cones and golf balls while other players watched. One of the students was injured so badly that he required surgery, the newspaper said.

The board found that "a significant majority" of the team's players violated the district's code of conduct "which requires that all students are expected to promptly report criminal, serious, or dangerous violations to school officials," according to a statement read by Charles Reinhardt, the president of the school board.

No arrests have been made, and prosecutors and school officials have not commented on the specifics of the allegations.

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