Oh, just your garden-variety, high school sports horseplay in Minnesota. Except it got weird. Real weird. And now one former student has pleaded guilty to what prosecutors termed not hazing, but sexual assault.
It was a case that had consumed the tiny Minnesota town with a population of 790. Seth Kellen was the last of three Browerville H.S. athletes to reach a plea agreement, after they were charged with engaging in a series of assaults on teammates. Kellen pleaded guilty Monday to one felony count of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct for using force or coercion during sexual contact. Specifically, he admitted to digitally penetrating a teammate in their hotel room while the basketball team was in Minneapolis for a state tournament.
That's fairly tame compared to some of the other charges Kellen was facing. A non-comprehensive dossier:
Kellen also was accused of pulling down his pants while in a Minneapolis parking-ramp elevator with his teammates and two student managers, ages 11 and 12. He then jumped on teammates’ backs and hit them with his penis, the charges say.
Members of the football team allegedly dunked, held and sexually assaulted a teammate under water.
One victim recalled being attacked when he had gotten out of the shower. Another said Kellen pushed him against the lockers before sexually assaulting him. A third recalled Kellen taking off all of his clothes when he was attacked.
Kellen, they say, would pick his target and run after them holding up two fingers.
Kellen's attorney maintained that the attacks were not sexual, and that the victims were coerced into believing they were:
"You go from thinking that you're being roughhoused as a football player to that you're a victim of sexual assault because you're told that," Chris Karpan said.
Kellen faces 30 days in jail, and 10 years of probation, including anger management and sexual counseling.