Judge Pushes Hazing Case to April
Friday, March 08, 2013 - 05:02 PM
A judge on Friday pushed the case against the three Bronx High School of Science students charged with hazing another student to next month, and signed an order that prohibited them from contacting the alleged victim.
Defendants Thomas Brady, Pier Berkmans and Boubacar Diallo, accused of harassing a teammate, stood confidently outside the Bronx Hall of Justice courtroom with family and friends before they appeared in front of Judge Jeanette Rodriguez-Morick. Inside, the proceedings moved quickly.
“In April, the judge should receive a motion and make a decision,” explained Angel Cruz, Diallo's attorney. “Then, eventually, we’ll proceed with the trial.”
The student-athletes were arrested last Wednesday and charged with multiple accounts of assault, harassment and hazing, according to the criminal complaint. The alleged victim, a freshman, accused the three defendants of sexual taunting, forcible touching, and making threats of rape, all on school property. The defendants pleaded not guilty.
In court, Cruz insisted the students be respected as minors even though New York law mandates that the students be charged as adults.
“I appreciate the right of the public to know, but we’re really talking about minors,” he said. “It’ll be hard to ever restore these kids’ reputations.”
In an interview with ABC News this week, the father of Pier Berksmans, contested the allegations.
“Our son is not capable of doing such a thing,” Jan Berksmans told ABC. “He’s a bright kid. He’s a smart kid.”
The Daily News reported this week that education officials knew of hazing complaints for a year. Bronx Science's athletic director, Marion Dietrich, and two track coaches were suspended from their jobs on Tuesday.
The defendants, who are receiving instruction at another school, are due back in court on April 23.