Assault may have been punishment

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Police are investigating whether high school football players sexually assaulted a Lehi athlete as a way of punishing him.

"We don't believe that it's a hazing," said Salt Lake County Sheriff's Sgt. Paul Jaroscak. "We believe it's actually a retaliation for a rough tackling or a rough hitting earlier in the day."

The alleged assault occurred about 3 a.m. July 11 at a football camp at Camp Williams in Draper.

Jaroscak said a 15-year-old player on the Lehi High School football team claims at least three other boys sexually assaulted him with a foreign object.

Jaroscak said he didn't know whether the alleged perpetrators were the 15-year-old's teammates or if they were players from other schools.

The teenager has said he knows who did it, Jaroscak said, but has not yet told police. Another interview is planned soon, he said.

Lehi football coach Joe Hayes said about 80 players from various high schools attended the camp. Hayes said he has instructed his players to inform police if they know anything about the alleged crime.

- Nate Carlisle