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3 Vernal teen wrestlers charged in hazing incident on bus

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DUCHESNE — Prosecutors have filed petitions in 8th District Juvenile Court against three Vernal Junior High School wrestlers accused of smearing bodily fluids on teammates.

The petitions contain one allegation of forcible sex abuse and one allegation of hazing against each of the three teens.

The basis for the forcible sex abuse allegation is that the 15-year-old and two 14-year-olds took "indecent liberties" with their teammates, according to Duchesne County prosecutor Grant Charles.

The case stems from a Dec. 4 incident on a Uintah School District bus as the junior high school's wrestling team returned from a meet in Morgan County. Most of the team, including the coaches, was at the front of the darkened bus watching a movie.

But three wrestlers were at the back of the bus. Infrared cameras there captured the teens engaging in individual "lewd acts," said Duchesne County sheriff's detective Dan Bruso. The teens then walked to the front of the bus and wiped bodily fluids on more than one teammate, according to authorities.

The juvenile court allegations against the teens are serious, Charles said. The hazing count would be a class B misdemeanor, punishable by up to six months in jail.

— Geoff Liesik