In Dietrich, Idaho, three white high school football players brutally assaulted a disabled black teammate with a wire coat hanger. Unbelievably, all are walking free without serving a single day of jail time.
According to reports, the 18-year-old victim was bullied by ringleader Howard Ward, Tanner Ward, and a third juvenile student for several months leading up to the attack. They repeatedly made racist remarks, calling him “chicken eater,” “Kool-Aid,” and the “n” word, put a picture of a Confederate flag on his computer, and made him learn him and recite a KKK song.
Then, on October 23, 2015, things escalated to a horrific level. The boys approached their victim asking for a hug, then held him down and sodomized him with a wire coat hanger. They even went as far as to kick the wire hanger deep into his body, causing rectal trauma that required medical treatment.
For their crimes of racist violence and sexual assault, the boys could have gotten life in prison. Unbelievably, they were allowed to plead guilty to a lesser charge, injury to a child. All three will walk free without spending so much as a day behind bars.
The victim and his family have filed a $10 million civil suit against the court district for deliberate indifference. Much like in the case of Brock Turner, the Stanford rapist that walked free earlier this year, the court seems overly concerned about how punishment will affect the attackers’ lives.
The civil suit addresses this issue, saying: “Mr. Howard is a relative of prominent individuals in the community and, at least in part due to his athletic ability and community connections, the Defendants ignored or were deliberately indifferent to the behavior of Mr. Howard which included aggression, taunting and bullying of The Plaintiff and other students in the District. With deliberate indifference, the Defendants did nothing to curb the vicious acts of Mr. Howard who brought with him from Texas a culture of racial hatred towards the Plaintiff.”