Former Wheaton football player pleads guilty in hazing case

WHEATON (Sun-Times Media Wire) - A former Wheaton College football player has pleaded guilty to battery for hazing another team member in 2016.

Noah Spielman, 21, of Columbus, Ohio, pleaded guilty Thursday to a misdemeanor count of battery, according to a statement from the DuPage County State’s Attorney’s Office.

Judge Brian Telander accepted his plea and sentenced him to a year of conditional discharge, prosecutors said. Speilman was also ordered to make a $250 anti-crime contribution and perform 100 hours of public service employment, including 25 hours addressing the issue of hazing with youth groups.

Spielman and four other team members – James W. Cooksey, Kyler S. Kregel, Benjamin Pettway and Samuel Tebos – were each charged in September 2017 with felony counts of aggravated battery, mob action and unlawful restraint, the Chicago Sun-Times reported at the time. They all turned themselves in after warrants were issued for their arrest.

Prosecutors said Spielman and the four other players put a pillowcase over a teammate’s head about 10 p.m. on March 19, 2016, before binding him with duct tape, physically removing him from a dorm room and leaving him in a nearby baseball field.

Police were called about 11:20 p.m. to Central DuPage Hospital in Winfield, where the victim told investigators that he was seriously injured when the players attacked him, the city of Wheaton said in a statement.

Cooksey and Pettway were scheduled to appear in court April 4, while Kregel and Tebos were due to appear May 8, the state’s attorney’s office said.