About a half-dozen members of the Chelmsford High School football team are under investigation for allegedly hazing one of their teammates during an overnight preseason camp in New Hampshire in August, officials said.
Chelmsford Deputy Police Chief James Spinney said the incident involved “unwanted contact.” “That's the least level we are talking about, involving something of that nature,’’ Spinney said. He declined to be more specific because his department is not investigating the incident, which occurred in Moultonborough, N.H.
The incident took place at Camp Robindel when an estimated 100 underclassmen under the supervision of about 10 coaches spent two nights there, including Friday, Aug. 23, when the incident occurred, according to police and the owner of the camp, Nat Greenfield.
Greenfield said his summer camp for girls was closed at the time. He said Chelmsford has leased his property for the past 13 years, always without incident until this year. He said his staff only provides meals and has no role in supervising the Chelmsford students.
“We are a girl’s camp and this happened with boys,’’ Greenfield said in a telephone interview. “They have nothing to do with us at all, other than the fact that they pay us for using the property. … They’re a very nice bunch and have very competent people on staff.’’
Greenfield said campers arrived by noon on Wednesday, Aug. 21, and left by noon on Saturday, Aug. 24.
Moultonborough police, in a statement, said they were investigating an alleged hazing incident involving members of the team. The incident took place around Aug. 23, police said.
Spinney said his department is serving as the liaison between Chelmsford schools and Moultonborough police, but he stressed that the invesitgation is being conducted and directed by the New Hampshire department.
He said only one victim has been identified, and that person did not need medical attention after the incident. He said as many as six teammates are currently under investigation, allegedly for having physical contact with the victim.
“I really can’t elaborate. It’s not our investigation,” Spinney said. “But what we are talking about is some level of assault and battery; I am not at liberty to give any further information.’’
The investigation comes after three Somerville High School students were accused of raping a teammate with a broomstick at a preseason sports camp in Western Massachusetts, charges that have been denied by the attorney for one of the defendants, 17-year-old Gailelo Mondol.
Chelmsford School Superintendent Frank Tiano did not immediately return telephone calls seeking comment. The school committee is holding a previously scheduled meeting tonight, but it is not clear if the panel will address the issue.
Spinney said Moultonborough investigators are moving as fast as they can, but their department is small, and they may need to take a significant amount of time before they reach a conclusion on whether criminal charges are warranted.
“I know they are chugging away as best they can,’’ Spinney said. “It’s a small department. They are going as fast as they can. They have been back and forth several times now to conduct interviews.’’
Mobile users unable to see the video, click here.John R. Ellement can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @JREbosglobe.