Back in May of this year, I posted a story about three white high school football players being charged for sexually assaulting a black, mentally disabled teammate in Oct. 2015.  Now at least one of those assailants will not face any jail time.

19-year-old John R.K. Howard (18 at the time of charges) was initially charged with forcible sexual penetration by a foreign object and faced up to life in prison.  He was accused of kicking the hanger in the victim’s rectum multiple times. Howard instead pled guilty to a felony count of injury to a child.  Howard will avoid any prison or jail time, and could even have his conviction dismissed if he completes his two-to-three-year probation without committing any new crimes or violations, according to MagicValley.com.  Howard will also be ordered to serve 300 community service hours.  If he violates his probation, the maximum punishment a judge could order is 10 years in prison along with a fine of up to $50,000.

Deputy Attorney General Casey Hemmer told District Judge Randy Stoker that Howard’s actions were “egregious” and caused “a lot of suffering” for the victim.” Nonetheless, Hemmer said it was neither a sex crime nor a hate crime, which is why they lowered the charges.

17-year-old Tanner Ward had his hearing before Howard’s; he was accused of forcing the plastic coat hanger into the victim’s rectum before Howard kicked it.  He too was charged as an adult with forcible penetration.  Tanner had his adult felony charges dismissed as a result of a plea deal, but he still faced at least one juvenile charge, Magic Valley reported in September.  He too likely got off easy.  The third teen was charged as a juvenile from the beginning, so his case has been completely sealed.

Hemmer doesn’t consider the incident to be racially motivated but in the victim’s $10 million lawsuit against Dietrich High School, they reveal several incidents of racist abuse.  The boy “was taunted and called racist names by other members of the team; the names included ‘Kool-Aid’ ‘chicken eater’ ‘watermelon’ and [the N-word],” and he was forced to recite a racist song titled “Notorious KKK” while holding the Confederate flag.  The abuse also included physical violence conducted by Howard.  The suit is still going through the U.S. District Court, according to Magic Valley.

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h/t Complex