Attorney: No criminal charges in Parkview baseball assault case – Atlanta Journal Constitution
Criminal charges will not be filed against the Parkview High School baseball players accused of physically and sexually assaulting teammates at a South Carolina hotel, an attorney for one of the alleged victims said Wednesday.
Thus far, Kurt Hilbert’s client — one of at least four alleged victims in the June 5 incident — is the only player to come forward asking for criminal charges to be filed. He gave a statement to North Charleston, S.C., police detectives last month but, according to Hilbert, they have decided not to pursue the case.
“The detective said that at most this would be assault and battery in the third degree, and therefore, it was such a low-level crime that they were not willing to extradite and prosecute,” Hilbert told Channel 2 Action News. ” … He didn’t give a reason. He just simply said we’re not going to drag a 15-year-old kid across state lines to prosecute for this type of low-level crime.”
North Charleston police spokesman Spencer Pryor declined to confirm or deny Hilbert’s assertions.
“As you are aware, the incident involved allegations involving minors and as such we are not making any further comments regarding the investigation,” Pryor said in an email Wednesday afternoon.
The incident in question happened at the Hyatt Place Charleston Airport/Convention Center, where members of several Parkview summer baseball teams were staying while participating in a nearby tournament.
According to a lawsuit filed last month by Hilbert’s client, the four alleged victims were in their hotel room when they caught wind of “unannounced visits” planned by the older Parkview players. The group of upperclassmen came to the door of the younger players, who stayed quiet and refused to let them in, according to the suit.
The older players then went to the hotel’s front desk and obtained key cards to the room.
The alleged victim named in the suit was then thrown onto a bed and “forcefully manhandled and wrestled down, held down, inappropriately touched over his body, and assaulted,” the document claims. The younger player also said his shorts were “partially removed.”
“Similar attacks were made on other freshman team members by the upperclassmen team members,” the suit says.
On Aug. 7, Gwinnett County Public Schools suspendedall six Parkview upperclassmen implicated in the incident. At least five of those players are appealing their suspensions, which ranged from one semester to the entire 2015-16 school year.
North Charleston police said initially — and repeatedly — that no alleged victims had come forward expressing interest in pursuing charges. On Aug. 17, however, detectives traveled to Lilburn to interview Hilbert’s client, who also filed the incident report created on the night of the alleged attack.
Hilbert said Wednesday he was “extremely disappointed” in the department’s decision not to file charges.
“This is a disservice to (the alleged victim),” Hilbert said. “It’s a disservice to the other alleged victims. It’s a disservice to the families, and it’s a disservice to the communities.”