4 Wheaton College players plead not guilty in hazing case

Four of five suspended Wheaton College football players accused of hazing pleaded not guilty Monday morning to charges of aggravated battery, mob action and unlawful restraint alleging an attack on a former teammate in March 2016.

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

Kregel, Pettway, Spielman and TeBos entered their not guilty plea at an arraignment hearing Monday and are next scheduled in court on Oct. 31. Cooksey will be arraigned Nov. 13.

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

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

Kregel's attorney on Monday asked DuPage Judge Brian Telander to temporarily lift a gag order he placed on the case so attorneys representing the players can publicly deny any allegations that the freshman was threatened with sexual violation.

Telander will hear those arguments on Oct. 31.

  Suspended Wheaton College football player Noah Spielman leaves the DuPage County courthouse Monday after pleading not guilty to charges of aggravated battery, mob action and unlawful restraint against a former teammate as part of a hazing case. Bev Horne/
Upper from left, James Cooksey, Kyler Kregel, and Ben Pettway and lower from left, Noah Spielman and Samuel TeBos are Wheaton College football players on the 2017 roster who face felony charges after being accused in a 2016 hazing of a teammate.
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