July 14th, 2024

One accused in assault of high school football player to seek change in release conditions

By Delon Shurtz - Lethbridge Herald on November 23, 2023.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDdshurtz@lethbridgeherald.com

One of four Lethbridge high school students accused of sexually assaulting another student on the same football team is expected to ask a judge to change his release conditions.

An agent for the boy’s lawyer told a judge Wednesday in Lethbridge youth court that new, “less contentious” information provided to the Crown’s office has prompted defence to seek a change in the accused’s release conditions on which he was placed after he was arrested.

The Crown, although prepared to hear the defence application for a change to the release provisions, told court it remains opposed to making any changes.

“It’s not by consent,” the Crown confirmed.

Lawyers representing all four Lethbridge high school students were in court Wednesday but simply adjourned their matters until Dec. 13 while they wait for disclosure from the Crown’s office.

The students, who are members of the Chinook High School football team but cannot be identified under a court-ordered publication ban, are each charged with sexual assault, assault and unlawful confinement. The four boys were charged several days after the Oct. 3 incident, then released from custody and ordered not to have any contact with the victim – also a member of the team – and not go to the high school or be on its grounds. They were not required to attend court on Wednesday.

Police reported that on Oct. 3 a boy was forcibly confined and sexually assaulted in a locker room at the high school after school hours. The following day police searched the school and seized a “weapon.”

“There is no evidence to suggest any ongoing risk to other students in the relation of this matter and the school remains open,” Staff Sgt. Pete Christos said during a news conference Oct. 10. He added the incident was not part of a hazing, and no other members of the football team were involved.

The Lethbridge School Division, which consulted with an expert in trauma response, cancelled its football program for the season.

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