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5 Wheaton College football players are facing felony charges over an alleged hazing incident


Five members of the football team at Wheaton College, which is located in suburban Chicago, are facing felony charges over an alleged 2016 hazing incident.

A DuPage County judge signed arrest warrants for James Cooksey, Kyler Kregel, Benjamin Pettway, Noah Spielman and Samuel TeBos late Monday afternoon. All five are charged with aggravated battery, mob action and unlawful restraint, the Chicago Tribune reports.

The victim, who transferred to a different university after the incident, told investigators that he was in his dorm room watching the NCAA tournament in March 2016 when his teammates tackled him, put a pillowcase over his head and punched even after he begged them to stop, according to documents obtained by the Tribune.

The then-freshman said he was held down in a teammate's vehicle as they drove around playing Middle Eastern music. At one point, the players reportedly told the victim he was being kidnapped by Muslims who wanted to have sex with goats and suggested he could be their "goat."

According to the unidentified victim, the players took his phone and left him half-naked at an off-campus park. Once he made it back to his dorm room he drove himself to the hospital where he was treated for bruises, scratches and muscle tears in both shoulders, the Tribune reports.

Wheaton College, which is a conservative Christian school, released a statement Monday saying it hired a third party to investigate the allegation after it was reported.

"The conduct we discovered as a result of our investigation into this incident was entirely unacceptable and inconsistent with the values we share as human beings," campus spokeswoman LaTonya Taylor said in a statement to the Tribune. "We are profoundly saddened that any member of our community could be mistreated in any way."

A judge set $50,000 bonds for the players, who are expected to turn themselves in this week.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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