Last Student in Wheaton College Football Hazing Case Pleads Guilty to Battery

Benjamin Pettway, 23, entered his plea in DuPage County court for one count of disorderly conduct

The last of five former Wheaton College Football players pleaded guilty Friday to battery in a 2016 hazing incident.

Benjamin Pettway, 23, entered his plea in DuPage County court for one count of disorderly conduct, the DuPage County state’s attorney’s office said in a statement.

Four other teammates, Kyler Kregal, James Cooksey, Noah Spielman and Samuel TeBos, have already pleaded guilty to charges arising from the same incident, prosecutors said.

The victim was seriously injured on March 19, 2016 when he was bound in duct tape and left on a baseball field, prosecutors said. He claimed the five teammates placed a pillow case over his head and physically removed him from a dorm.

When charges were initially filed, Wheaton College spokeswoman LaTonya Taylor said the college strives to provide an educational environment that is free of hazing and “practices our values as a Christian community,” and was therefore “deeply troubled” by the accusations.

Taylor said the college took “swift action” to investigate the allegations after the incident was brought to administrators’ attention by other football team members and coaches.

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The college hired an investigator to look into the accusations and took “a range of corrective actions,” Taylor said. The school withheld details of the corrective actions, citing federal student privacy protections.

Pettaway was sentenced to court supervision and to perform 50 hours of community service.

“This morning, Benjamin Pettway took responsibility for his participation in a hazing incident,” DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin said in the statement. “Hopefully, the defendants in this case have learned something from this experience.

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