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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Victim bullied after rape allegations against Torrington football players

From the Register Citizen: 


Two Torrington High School football players stand accused of sexual assault of a 13-year-old girl. Four others were suspended in a hazing scandal last fall that is still under investigation. One player, the team’s second-highest scorer last fall, was allowed to play even though the team’s coach knew he had been charged with felony robbery and assault.

School officials claim that the sexual assault charges against 18-year-olds Edgar Gonzalez and Joan Toribio, the hazing and other incidents are isolated problems and don’t signal a deeper issue with the culture of Torrington High School, its athletic programs or football team.

But on social media in recent weeks, dozens of athletes and Torrington High School students, male and female, have taunted the 13-year-old victim, calling her a “whore,” criticizing her for “snitching” and “ruining the lives” of the 18-year-old football players, and bullying students who defend her.


Dozens of Torrington High School students have been discussing the case on Facebook and Twitter.

“I wanna know why there’s no punishment for young hoes,” asked “@asmedick.” That comment was reposted three times.

 Posts included graphic and vulgar language and, at times, photographs. Affiliations were determined by followers, posts of photographs and references.

Before the sex assault charges against Gonzalez, the team’s Most Valuable Player, was charged in a March 2012 alleged felony robbery. He’s accused of jumping three juveniles, 14-years-old, in search of money. Three other teens are alleged co-conspirators.

Two of the teens were not identified because of their age. Jeffrey Holder, 19, a former Torrington High School football player, was the other person charged.

Both were charged with three felonies, including robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery and two misdemeanor, assault and attempt to commit larceny. Although 2011 was Holder’s final season, Gonzalez went on to play in 2012.

Former Head Coach Dan Dunaj said when he became aware of the pending robbery charges against Gonzalez, “I reeled the kid in after that, and he walked the line. As a coach I was doing something right.”

Dunaj resigned from his position as head coach in January, following a 6-4 season marred by the hazing scandal.

The school district is currently in the process of hiring a new coach, Torrington High School alumnus Gaitan Rodriguez, a social worker and assistant coach at Wallingford’s Sheehan High School.

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