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White high school football players in Idaho charged in rape of black, disabled teammate with a coat hanger

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Michael Miller | The Washington Post

Three white high school football players at Dietrich High School in Idaho have been charged in the October 2015 rape of their black disabled teammate. The alleged victim's family filed a $10 million lawsuit against the school. Here's what you need to know. (Monica Akhtar/The Washington Post)

When a teammate held out his arms after football practice in their high school locker room, the student thought he was about to get a hug.

Instead, he got viciously raped, authorities say.

As the teammate restrained the victim, another football player allegedly thrust a coat hanger into the victim’s rectum, according to a criminal complaint. Then a third teammate kicked the coat hanger several times.

The Oct. 23, 2015, incident has rocked the tiny town of Dietrich, Idaho. This spring, after several months of investigation, the state attorney general’s office filed sexual assault charges against the three. Two of the teenagers are being charged as adults and could face life in prison, under Idaho law.

Earlier this month, the victim’s family filed a $10 million lawsuit against Dietrich High School. According to the lawsuit, the attack wasn’t a one-off, but rather the culmination of months of racist abuse by white students against the victim, who is black.

The victim “was taunted and called racist names by other members of the team which names included ‘Kool-Aid’ ‘chicken eater’ ‘watermelon’ and [the N-word],” the suit alleges.

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