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Coach put on leave during probe of alleged rape with broomstick

Damascus, Md. -- The junior varsity football coach at a Maryland high school is on leave while authorities investigate allegations that some of his players raped a teammate with a broomstick in October. Damascus High School coach Vincent Colbert was put on leave last month, Montgomery County Public Schools spokesman Derek Turner told news outlets. 

Four teens have been charged as juveniles with rape and attempted rape in the attacks on four others. The suspects and victims have said it was part of a locker-room hazing ritual.

Prosecutors reportedly called the conduct of the defendants "astonishingly cruel" and charged the four teens as adults, CBS News correspondent Chip Reid reported in November. Attorneys for the teens argued they were only 15 and it was a hazing incident that went to an extreme.  

According to the charging documents, the victims told police someone first "turned off the lights to the locker room." One victim said two of the suspects then "threw him onto the floor" and that one suspect "held his feet down" and then "pulled (his) pants down to his knees" before one of the suspects violated him with a broomstick. 

The suspects were "laughing," he said, and "then proceeded to do the same thing to other male members on the junior varsity football team." One victim "began to cry" while another said he was able to stop them.

The Washington Post reported that Colbert was the first school official to know about the October attack and that the school system waited hours to alert police. The system said it would hire an outside firm to investigate its procedures and reporting practices.