Mt. Vernon Register-News

CNHI Special Projects

June 20, 2013

Sodomy hazing acts increase among teen boys

One incident leaves 13-year-old victim outcast in Colo. town

(Continued)

NORWOOD, Colo. —

"My son was the outcast," the principal said. "He was made to feel like he was the one who caused the whole thing."

Later that year, one of the accused students pleaded guilty to sexual contact without consent; the other two pleaded guilty to third-degree assault. They received varied sentences that included probation, community service and restitution of about $2,500 apiece.

The principal's contract was up for renewal. After extensive negotiations involving lawyers from both sides, the board renewed his contract and put him on paid leave while it reached a settlement.

The principal was offered another job in a town 200 miles away that pays half his previous salary. The family moved and he enrolled his children in a new school.

Harris was reappointed Norwood's wrestling coach. He was given a letter of reprimand for leaving students unsupervised on the bus, Crews told police.

In the wake of the incident, Norwood brought in experts from Denver to address bullying and hazing in school, Crews said.

"Something negative like this can make something positive," Crews said. "We can share ideas on how to treat each other with respect and to know where the boundaries are."

The principal's son, now 14, is doing better after having difficulty coping with the incident for about a year, his parents said.

"It seems like we finally have him back," said his father. "He's come out of everything he's been going through since this happened."

He joined the wrestling team in his new school and just finished an undefeated season. He's now starting to play football and do weightlifting.

"Maybe it was a wake-up call to get our kids out of that kind of community where people behave that way," his mother said.

Staiti reported from Boston. Contributors: Chris Dolmetsch in New York and Andrew Harris in Chicago.

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