Nine former Mount Carmel Area High School football players are facing charges in connection with an alleged hazing incident in 2020.
That alleged hazing prompted the school to cancel a portion of the 2020 football season.
Mount Carmel is believed to be the winningest team in Pennsylvania high school football.
The charges were announced earlier this week by Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro.
Mount Carmel Football Players Face Hazing Charges
In a statement announcing the charges, Shapiro says an investigation by his office – referred to him by the Northumberland County District Attorney – alleges 2 separate incidents happened during the 2020 season.
During each, players were invited to the home of Reed Witowski, the Mount Carmel football captain that year. It was supposed to be a film session.
But during these film sessions, Witowski, another captain, Damon Dowkus, another captain who was a juvenile at the time, along with other members of the team allegedly carried out their hazing of new players in the starting lineup.
In the hazing, Shapiro charges, the new starters were burned “with lit burning sticks and sparklers.”
Witowski, Dowkus, and another player who was a juvenile at the time of the alleged incident face the following charges:
- Simple assault
- Intimidation of a victim
Mount Carmel players Tyler Owens, Michael Balichik, and four others who were juveniles at the time of the alleged incident face these charges:
- Criminal conspiracy to commit hazing