INDEPENDENT: "A white football player accused of raping a mentally disabled black classmate with a coat hanger in a US high school has been spared jail.
John R.K. Howard, 19, was sentenced to three years’ probation and 300 hours of community service by a court in Idaho for the attack in a sports locker room in October 2015.
The sentence came after the judge accepted a plea bargain which let Howard technically plead guilty while still maintaining his innocence.
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The family of the victim, who claim the brutal assault by three white teens followed months of racist abuse, have not officially commented on the high profile case but are said by local media to be furious at the outcome.
The victim, who was 17 at the time of the attack, described the assault during the April preliminary hearing for another alleged attacker, Tanner Ward, who was initially charged as an adult in the attack but whose case was later remanded to juvenile court.
“After practice I was in the locker room, and one of my friends, he told me to come here, and I went over to him and gave him a hug,” the victim said, according to a transcript obtained by the Guardian. “He told me to give him a hug. He had his hands out like he was going to give me a hug. And I gave him a hug, and he signaled for one of my other friends to come over.”
He went on to give a detailed description of a harrowing anal rape in which the attackers sought to inflict as much pain as possible.
The victim was asked how he felt during the attack. “Pain that I have never felt took over my body,” he replied. “I screamed, but afterwards, I kept it to myself.”