Judge: Wheaton College hazing suspects can travel out of state

The five Wheaton College football players charged in a hazing scandal will be allowed to travel out of state while free on bail.

DuPage County Judge Brian Telander, noting that all the players live out of state, approved the requests by attorneys for each of the men Thursday, moments after the case was assigned to his courtroom.

James Cooksey is from Jacksonville, Florida; Kyler Kregel, Grand Rapids, Michigan; Ben Pettway, Lookout Mountain, Georgia; Noah Spielman, Columbus, Ohio; and Samuel TeBos, Allendale, Michigan.

Telander also signed a gag order to prevent Wheaton police from disclosing any information about the case through Freedom of Information requests from multiple media outlets and Wheaton College officials.

The five players are all charged as co-defendants with aggravated battery, mob action and unlawful restraint. Each is free after posting 10 percent of his $50,000 bail.

They are accused of abducting a teammate from his dorm room, tying him up with duct tape and leaving him in a baseball field near Hawthorne Elementary School in Wheaton in March 2016.

Terry Ekl, the attorney for the victim, says his client was left with two injured shoulders, which required three surgeries. During the car ride to the ballfield, Ekl said, the victim, who was a freshman, was threatened with sexual violations.

After the hazing, the student left Wheaton College and now attends another school. The college suspended the players last month after the charges were announced.

Authorities say a second football player was hazed the same evening and also was left in the school ballfield. He remains on the team, according to a recent roster.

Kregel, Pettway, Spielman and TeBos will be arraigned at 9 a.m. Oct. 23. Cooksey's attorney, Michael Flemming, had his arraignment moved to Nov. 13.

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