UPDATE: A criminal investigation against four Rose Hill High School athletes is now in the hands of the county attorney.
The Rose Hill Rockets lost their first game of the year, but they were short a few teammates on the field. Three football players and one baseball player could face criminal charges for illegal activity police say they were involved in. "We became aware of a bunch of rumors that were going through town that if true, potentially were felony crimes," said Chief Bob Sage, Rose Hill Police. "So we began an investigation at that point."
Sage says the students, who are all minors, were drinking and three could face battery charges for urinating on the fourth student. "There was a group of four friends that got together one evening. Alcohol was involved and one bad decision led to another bad decision."
FactFinder 12 asked school leaders how they were handling the situation. Rose Hill Athletic Director Jim Linot said the three football players were benched for the season opener. Linot said the baseball player will have to sit out his first game in March.
We pulled USD 394's policy on substance abuse. It states, "After confirmation of the first violation, the student will be ineligible to participate for the next competition date. The student will be required to continue practice and prepare for their sport or activity."
Sage says this should serve as a reminder to teens about the trouble that can come from underage drinking. "Adults don't always make the best decisions when they're under the influence of alcohol. Same is true with minors," said Sage. "Unfortunately, we believe it was the alcohol that led to the bad decisions."
Sage says the incident does not appear to be hazing and his investigation ruled out felony charges. The Butler County attorney will decide if misdemeanors will be filed against the athletes.
High school football kicks off in Kansas this week, but the Rose Hill Rockets will have to play without a few of their teammates. Four students could face criminal charges for a situation that happened at an off-campus party.
Rose Hill Police say three football players and one baseball player, who are all minors, were drinking. But that's not all. Police Chief Bob Sage says three of the students could face battery charges for urinating on the fourth student.
Sage says the situation does not appear to be hazing.
Eyewitness News received numerous messages through social media, emails, and a typed anonymous letter asking FactFinder 12 to investigate a number of allegations. We asked Sage about each allegation. He says there are a lot of rumors, but many are not true.
Rose Hill Athletic Director Jim Linot confirmed the three football players will miss their first game this Friday against Wichita Collegiate. Linot says the baseball player will miss his first game in March.
Linot says the penalty is based on the district's substance abuse policy for athletics and activities. The policy states: "After confirmation of the first violation, the student will be ineligible to participate for the next competition date. The student will be required to continue practice and prepare for their sport or activity."
Last week, FactFinder 12 asked Rose Hill Superintendent Randal Chickadonz if the school was involved in the investigation and if the students were being punished by the district. At that time, Chickadonz said he was unaware of any investigation and he said there was no disciplinary action being taken against any of the students. We tried to reach him by phone and email Tuesday but have not heard back.
Police confirm the incident was recorded on a cell phone but say the video was deleted. They are working to recover it.
The investigation is still active, but police plan to turn the case over to the District Attorney's office by the end of the week.