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Friday October 20, 2000

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Winslow teens sentenced in hazing incidents

By The Associated Press

HOLBROOK, Ariz. - Former Northern Arizona star basketball recruit Stephen Garnett Jr. and six other teen athletes were sentenced Wednesday for their roles in a hazing scandal at Winslow High School.

Eight students - all members of the basketball or track teams - were indicted in May on charges ranging from kidnapping to rape. Police say the student athletes sexually assaulted other athletes during hazing.

Seven of the eight defendants had pleaded guilty to aggravated assault in return for having various counts of sexual assault and kidnapping dropped.

Garnett, 18, and Martin Woods, 19, both received nine months in jail, three years intensive probation and 200 hours of community service. Both pleaded guilty in August to 12 counts each of aggravated assault.

Jason Black, 16, who pleaded guilty to five similar counts, received nine months in jail, two years intensive probation and 200 hours of community service.

Timothy Lewis and William Shoupe, both 16, each received six months in jail, two years probation and 200 hours community service.

Logan Payne, 16, and Bryan Marquez, 17, both received 60 days in jail. Payne got one year probation and 75 hours of community service; Marquez received 18 months probation and 100 hours of community service.

Garnett's 16-year-old brother, Shane, refused to accept a plea deal and is expected to be tried by the end of the year.

According to court records, victims told sheriff's investigators the other students held them against their will, pulled down their pants and inserted fingers and other objects into their rectums.

Most of the attacks on the 10 victims, who were almost all underclass athletes, took place on buses returning from Winslow basketball games last winter, in locker rooms and at the high school's football field during track season.

In some of the cases, the victims were seized and dragged to the back of the buses, where their screams were muffled, according to court documents.

"Rectal penetration is very serious to me, period," said Judge Fred Newton of Coconino County Superior Court. "For those who feel this is just horseplay, all I can say is that we disagree."

Bruce Griffin, a Flagstaff attorney representing Stephen Garnett, took exception to Newton talking in explicit terms about the attacks because none of the defendants admitted that and "it was zero percent of the plea agreement."

Six Winslow coaches resigned during the scandal that ensued when the hazing reports surfaced, and one - basketball coach Danny Gonzalez - was charged with three counts of child abuse. His trial date has yet to be set.