Wheaton players plead not guilty in hazing case

Courtesy photos of Wheaton College football players Samuel TeBos and Kyler Kregel.

WHEATON, Ill. (AP) — Four of five Wheaton College football players, including two from West Michigan, who are charged with battery in the hazing of a teammate at the suburban Chicago school have pleaded not guilty.

Noah Spielman, Benjamin Pettway, Kyler Kregel and Samuel TeBos appeared at a Monday arraignment in DuPage County. Kregel, 21, is from Grand Rapids and TeBos, 22, is from Allendale.

Spielman is from Ohio and Pettway is from Georgia.

The arraignment for the fifth player, James Cooksey, is Nov. 13. He is from Florida.

All five are accused of duct-taping their teammate, then dumping him half-naked in a park in March 2016. Each was charged last month with aggravated battery, mob action and unlawful restraint. The most serious charge carries a maximum five-year prison term.

Their victim, who has since left the school, also told police his attackers attempted to sodomize him with an object. One attorney asked the judge to lift a gag order so the now-suspended players can publicly deny those allegations. The court will consider the request at an Oct. 31 hearing.