‘There is no justice for Johnathan’: Woburn football player says he endured multiple alleged assaults

"It's just outrageous that there are no charges."

Johnathan Coucelos, in black coat, is a JV football player at Woburn High who says he was assaulted in the locker room by his teammates. With him is his father Kevin, brothers Jacob and Jaxon and sister Karmen and mother Jeanny. Suzanne Kreiter/Globe Staff

A freshman football player at Woburn High has reportedly been the victim of multiple alleged assaults at the school, according to The Boston Globe‘s Bob Hohler.

A video that the family shared with the paper shows Johnathan Coucelos, 14, trapped in a corner of the locker room, punched, and sprayed with water after a game in late September. A teammate then reportedly pulled down his pants and grabbed his genitals as a group of players watched.

Coucelos said he immediately reported the incident to an assistant coach, and he later recounted it in detail to the Middlesex district attorney’s office. A judge issued a six-month harassment order against the student who allegedly groped him. The other student involved denied sexually assaulting Coucelos, but the judge found that an indecent assault and battery occurred.


“High school and youth coaches are considered responsible for supervising student-athletes and preventing abuse,” Hohler wrote. “Hours later on the days of the alleged attack, Johnathan said, head varsity coach Jack Belcher gathered the team and said, without directly referring to the incident, that anyone who committed an assault and battery or sexual assault would be kicked off the team.

As it turned out, however, the school suspended the two players who allegedly punched and sexually molested Johnathan for five days each, according to his parents and lawyer. The player they accused of punching Johnathan did not return to the team, but the other player (who allegedly assaulted him) was welcomed back.

No criminal charges have been filed yet, according to Hohler, and no coach has been held accountable.

The incident in September was only the beginning for Coucelos, according to Hohler. One teammate texted him: “You really wanna get raped again don’t you.” Here’s an excerpt from Hohler’s article:

“On Oct. 18, he said, he was punched several times in a school bathroom by a student who taunted him about not sticking up for himself.

On Nov. 9, a football player allegedly sent him several offensive texts, including one that asked if he wanted to be raped again. Another stated, “Did you get brain damage from being raped?”


On Nov. 10, a former team member allegedly entered Johnathan’s Spanish class, grabbed him by the shirt, and warned him to stop snitching.

And on Dec. 1, Jonathan was riding a school bus when a student allegedly called him a snitch and a pedophile and punched him in the face.”

Coucelos said the locker room attack occurred as retaliation for another fight in which he was involved. According to the article, Coucelos was part of a group that got into a fight at a school varsity game in early September.

That fight led coaches to confine all the junior varsity players and freshmen on the team to the cafeteria during the first half of a varsity home game. Coucelos said that the students retaliated for the punishment with the locker room attack, in which no coaches intervened.

The case remains under investigation as Coucelos — who has withdrawn from Woburn High — studies at home through Google Classroom. His parents, Jeanny and Kevin, told the paper they are trying to find a school where he’ll feel safe.

Once the criminal investigation has concluded, the school district told the Globe that it will conduct a full administrative review of the entire matter, possibly with external consultants.


The family’s lawyer, Peter Hahn, and his parents say the school, police, and district attorney’s office have failed to adequately protect him, according to the paper.

“It’s just outrageous that there are no charges,” Hahn said, according to Hohler. “The more I find out about the situation, I wonder what I’m going to find out next about how the school has mishandled this, how the police have mishandled it, how the DA’s office has mishandled it.

“There is no justice for Johnathan.”



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