The 12 Tooele High baseball players involved in a lewdness incident in March will not face criminal charges, according to Tooele County Attorney Scott Broadhead.
In a memorandum to Tooele juvenile probation, Broadhead said there was “significant evidence” to file multiple Class B misdemeanor lewdness charges against a dozen members of the Tooele High baseball team. He decided, however, not to take action in part due to the actions taken by the Tooele County School District under a new state law.
House Bill 239, passed by the Legislature in 2017, allows school administrators to either refer class B misdemeanors to juvenile court or handle it internally through school-related intervention.
In the memorandum, Broadhead said the high school took the alternative path through school suspensions, game suspensions, strict team probation status and possible removal from the team for any noncompliance.
Broadhead also cited other reasons to not bring criminal charges against the involved baseball players, including the fact there were no clear victims in the case, as the lewd acts were only observed by the 12 participating members. None of the students involved had prior criminal convictions and Broadhead said it would be “unjust to sanction these kids twice” after they admitted to the incident and had been disciplined by the school.
In the memorandum, Broadhead said the county attorney’s office could revisit the involved students’ conduct should future problems arise.
“In conclusion, this office does not tolerate this type of conduct and may review this matter in the future if this type of criminal behavior continues with players on the THS baseball team,” he said.
The possible charges stemmed from an incident when the baseball team was on a school bus following a game on March 23, according to Tooele City police. The school district contacted police following reports of inappropriate exposure and touching between 12 members of the team. Not all members of the team were involved.