Wood County judge orders prosecutor to clarify accusations against wrestlers
WOOD COUNTY (WAOW) -
With a courtroom crowd stretched into the hallway, a Wood County judge reviewed motions filed on behalf of four Wisconsin Rapids Lincoln High School wrestlers charged with disorderly conduct.
According to the criminal complaint, Zak Benitz, Devin Peterson, Rylan Lubeck and Kasey Einerson are accused of dancing around the locker room naked and touching their genitals to other wrestlers.
Thursday, Wood County Judge Gregory Potter, ordered the state to write down a detailed list of acts, times, places and people involved based from the criminal complaint.
Last week, lawyers for the defendants filed motions to have the disorderly conduct charges dismissed because they say the alleged victim had changed part of his story and told a "tall tale" of being involved in a sexual assault. Wood County Assistant District Attorney Craig Lambert countered with more alleged physical acts that involved harassment of wrestling teammates during the 2009-'10 season on a team bus, in the locker room and in a Madison hotel room during a state meet. Court documents claim some of the incidents again contained genital contact.
The judge announced those motions will not be addressed until that list of particulars is submitted.
Potter also dismissed testimony from the alleged victim's participation in a sexual assault.
The trial date for all four wrestlers is scheduled for March 5th.
The judge says the jury will be chosen from outside the county and potentially further away than the surrounding counties.
As a result of these allegations, Wisconsin Rapids head coach Scott Benitz was suspended the first four wrestling meets this year. In a disciplinary letter, the principal said it did not mean Benitz was responsible.. But it indicated a lack of supervision. In addition, The team was not allowed to compete in two major tournaments, The Clash and Cheesehead meets.