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Prairie Ridge wrestlers plead not guilty to hazing allegations
By Charles Keeshan | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 4/28/2010 6:03 PM

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A pair of Prairie Ridge High School students charged as adults in connection with accusations of hazing among members of the school's wrestling program have pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor battery charges.

David T. Vinton, 17, of Crystal Lake, and Randall S. DeBruyne, 18, also of Crystal Lake, formally denied the charges that stem from claims they and three fellow wrestlers made "physical contact of an insulting nature" with other members of the team.

At the request of Vinton's defense, Judge Charles Weech on Wednesday scheduled an Aug. 2 jury trial on the Class A misdemeanor charge.

"It was important to me that we get this matter resolved before David and potential witnesses go off to college," Vinton attorney Daniel Hofmann said. "I'm confident we will obtain a finding of not guilty from a reasonable jury in McHenry County."

DeBruyne is scheduled to return to court May 18 for a pretrial status hearing. A trial date has not been set.

Three other Prairie Ridge students charged in the alleged hazing are having their cases heard in juvenile court, authorities said.

Crystal Lake police arrested the teens in March after a five-week investigation that began when school officials received an anonymous letter claiming a student had been hazed. Police said the investigation revealed allegations that wrestlers were slapped and groped while being restrained by teammates.