By Calvin Palmer
Six former cheerleaders and the former mascot from Morton Ranch High School in Katy, Texas, made a court appearance today accused of hazing.
The charge relates to an incident last year when the seven girls allegedly restrained several junior varsity cheerleaders, blindfolded them, bound their hands and pushed them into a swimming pool.
No further details were revealed in court this morning but the seven teenagers were told to appear before the judge next month.
The indicted students – 17-year-olds Kelly Anna Buffa, Haley Spincer Davis, Kirsten Marie Davis and Madison Gabrielle Tanner; and 18-year-olds Adelynn “Addie” Garner, Hannah Rose Cochran and Meigan Taylor Goff – each appeared in court on one charge.
Neither the girls nor their parents commented after the hearing but attorneys for two of the girls said outside the courtroom their clients are caught in a tough situation and have the full support of their families.
“This is probably a case where teenagers used poor judgment,” said attorney Robert Fickman who represents Garner, the varsity squad’s former mascot. “There is no evidence anyone was harmed or endangered.”
Attorney Jed Silverman, who represents Hayley Davis, said his client just wants to get on with her education and her life.
“It’s just very unfortunate for anyone to have to go through this during the holidays,” Silverman said. “She has a good family behind her 100 percent.”
Some of the girls were ordered to reappear before state District Judge Larry Standley on December 12 and others were assigned court dates on December 22.
Although several junior varsity cheerleaders are alleged to have been hazed, the indictments focus on only one. The varsity girls are accused of pushing that cheerleader into a swimming pool on July 25 while her hands were bound and she was blindfolded as part of an initiation ceremony into the varsity squad.
The girls face probation and community service to six months in jail and a $2,000 fine if convicted of the class B misdemeanor charge. They will be tried as adults.
Earlier this fall, school district officials suspended Morton Ranch High School’s cheerleading activities for the remainder of the school year.
[Based on a report by the Houston Chronicle.]