The three defendants in the Bronx High School of Science hazing case appeared in court on last Friday, where they were told not to contact the student who accused them of harassing him. DNAifo says that the students were jovial with supporters prior to entering the court room and appearing "somber." Yesterday, the New York Daily News published a photo where two of the defendants pose with other members of the school's track team which the paper claims is "further evidence of the team's dark underside."
17-year-old Pier Berkmans, 16-year-old Thomas Brady and 16-year-old Boubacar Diallo are charged with sexually hazing an underclassman multiple times in just a few months. The official criminal complaint states that one of the victims told the defendant "You need a good fingering, you freshman," before violating the younger student with his finger through his clothes. In a separate incident, another defendant promised to rape the victim if he didn't touch his penis on command.
A former Bronx Science student told the Daily News “The track team had a reputation for acting out,” adding that "They were real competitors, but they liked to play around…The track team was known for wild behavior." Athletic director Marion Deitrich and two other track coaches were suspended last week, and Gothamist says that an email Deitrich sent to the staff in 2012 implies that there was an issue with hazing.
Still, several Bronx Science students say that the situation is being greatly exaggerated. “It was just jokes. Maybe it was a little immature. Maybe if you were a freshman you’d get scared. But guys joke around," they told the New York Times.