Police bolster claims

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By Lee Einer

State police said Thursday that they have evidence that supports the claims of Robertson High School freshmen football players who allege they were violently attacked as part of a hazing ritual.

The accusations included a claim that at least one student was sodomized with a broomstick. State police Capt. Robert Shilling of the agency’s Criminal Investigations Bureau, said investigators have evidence that substantiates that specific claim as well.

Shilling said he was not prepared to discuss the nature of the evidence in police possession because of medical privacy issues and because the complete case file had not yet been submitted to the prosecutors.

The alleged attacks took place last week, while the students took part in a football camp at the Western Life Camp, 15 miles west of Las Vegas in the Gallinas canyon.

District superintendent Rick Romero said Thursday that the state police’s evidence had not been made available to him, but that the district is continuing its own investigation of the incident. He said he continues to take the situation with the utmost seriousness.

“What people don’t understand,” Romero said, “is that I can’t be part of this investigation. If there is disciplinary action taken, there will be a hearing, and if the hearing is appealed, I would be hearing that appeal; it would be a conflict of interest for me to do so if I had been part of the investigation. The school board is precluded from participating in the investigation for the same reason.”

The district has also retained attorney Guy Siler to conduct an investigation independent of both the state police and the district.