Many members of a Florida middle school's flag football team were in the locker room when a 13-year-old boy was sexually assaulted by some of his teammates with a hockey stick and broomstick, according to court documents released Tuesday.
The teen told a detective that two teammates penetrated him with a stick as many as a dozen times while two others held him down. He said "basically the whole team" was in the room. The boy said the sexual assaults happened over a period of several weeks but it was unclear how many times.
The details are among new documents released by the Hillsborough State Attorney's Office. Four teenagers were charged in May with multiple counts of sexual battery in the assault at Walker Middle School in Odessa.
In interviews with a detective, several boys described seeing other boys attack the teen, whose name has not been released. One witness described hearing the victim yelling at the boys to stop. Another said the victim was fighting to get away but laughed when he finally did. Another said there were guys, "cheering and yelling" during two attacks.
The documents also include written statements by the four suspects.
"It only lasted for about 15-20 seconds then we all stopped and walked away," one wrote. "After it happened I walked up and said we were just playing around and didn't mean to hurt his feelings."
The bullying — including sexual assaults — had gone on for months, officials said, unbeknownst to the boys' coach, school administrators and the victim's parents, until the teen finally snapped.
Asked why he didn't report the assault earlier, the teen said, "I thought they would stop."
He also said that one of the suspects threatened him to keep him from coming forward.
"I'll beat you up if you tell anybody about that," he quoted one of the boys saying.
The teens have pleaded not guilty. The assault stunned the Odessa community for its brutality, the young age of the four students accused, and the allegation that such an attack happened on school grounds.