As a newly-chosen member of the junior varsity cheerleading squad, I'm sure teenage girls expect some harassment from the older, veteran participants. Perhaps someone forgets to spot you during a critical moment in the pyramid formation. Or, maybe your pom poms mysteriously disappear from the locker room as you were preparing for practice. However, I am sure that none of the girls at Morton Ranch High School in Katy, Texas expected the level of hazing that took place in July of this year. What was supposed to be an early breakfast at the International House of Pancakes became a violent incident that may have long-term consequences for the offending parties.
Instead of being taken to the renowned home of the Rooty Tooty Fresh 'n' Fruity for some delicious pancakes, the junior varsity girls where taken to a private home where, bound and wearing blindfolds, they were thrown into a swimming pool. Although no one was physically hurt, the potential for injury or worse certainly was quite real.
Attorneys for several of the girls claim that the prank was innocent fun meant to initiate the new cheerleaders into their new positions. The grand jury disagreed, and seven cheerleaders have been charged with the Class B misdemeanor of hazing. This charge could bring up to six months in prison and a $2000 fine. Five other cheerleaders who are not yet seventeen years old may still face prosecution in juvenile court. All of the girls remain in class as they proceed through the criminal justice system.
If you are a cheerleader whose actions have gone beyond rooting your team to victory on the football field and you are now facing criminal charges, Bertolino LLP can help. We have aggressive defense attorneys who will defend your rights in court. Please contact our Austin, Houston, or San Antonio office today.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Posted by Tony R. Bertolino, Esq. at 9:47 AM