No charges to be filed against Cooper City High baseball team for alleged hazing incident

Police recommended charges against 8 players


COOPER CITY, Fla. – Prosecutors have declined to file charges against eight members of the Cooper City High School baseball team for an alleged hazing incident during a road trip in 2016.

The State Attorney's Office in Seminole County confirmed in a written memo that there is "insufficient evidence" to charge the teenagers, who have been under investigation since March 2016.

"As a result of the delay in disclosure, there is no physical evidence," a prosecutor wrote. "Disclosure was made in a social setting by an unknown adult to the father of one of the victim's (redacted), inconsistent statements from victims, no witnesses, no admissions, no reasonable likelihood of conviction."

The prosecutor said the parents with whom he spoke told him that they were "glad that charges would not be filed and had no questions for me."

A parent first drew attention to the incident involving her 16-year-old son, a member of the team during a tournament in Altamonte Springs in March.

The student said he witnessed the same group of boys holding down another teammate on a later night and "putting their fingers up his butt." According to a Broward Sheriff's Office report, the student told his mother that five teammates came into his room and pulled down his underwear before he was able to fight them off.

The same student claimed that he heard, but did not see, another incident in which the boys took another student and "put a Gatorade bottle up his butt."

When another player complained to the coach, the coach replied, "It's just baseball, keep it to yourself," reports said.

In November, Altamonte Springs police recommended charges against eight of the teens, who could have faced charges of simple battery, false imprisonment and sexual battery.

The coach of the team at the time, Chris Delgado, was never publicly identified as being involved, but has since left the school.

The victims said they were threatened by other members of the team for talking about the incident.

Detectives conducted interviews with three of the alleged victims.

Local 10 News reporter Michael Seiden spoke with the mother of one of the victims in November. She said she had mixed emotions because she felt they were one step closer to justice, but at the same time, she and her son have to deal with the nightmare every day.

A Broward County Public Schools spokeswoman released the following statement in December:

"School leadership and the district's special investigative unit continue to cooperate with the Altamonte Springs Police Department's investigation. The school has taken the allegations very seriously. At all times, the safety and security of our students are our highest priorities."