Former Carmel HS basketball player pleads guilty

Scott Laskowski

Hamilton County - One of the former Carmel High School basketball players accused of assault pleaded guilty Thursday.

Scott Laskowski appeared in Hamilton County court Thursday. It was the first time that Laskowski spoke publicly in nearly ten months about the crime he pleaded guilty to on Thursday.

"It's been a tough road. Obviously, being 19 at the time, it's tough for any teenager to take but I stayed strong to my family. Those are the people that are gonna be there in the end for me. Found out who my true friends were," he said.

Laskowski pleaded guilty to one count of criminal recklessness in the assault on a younger student in a school locker room in exchange for two other counts being dropped. The judge in the case also suspended six months in jail but ordered the 20-year-old to serve one year of probation and perform 40 hours of community service.

Laskowski must also testify for prosecutors in separate cases against his co-defendants Oscar Falodun, Brandon Hoge and Robert Kitzinger, all 19.

"As being one of the individuals directly involved, it could be very useful to have his input into what he was able to know about all of that," said Sonia Leerkamp, Hamilton County prosecutor.

The 15-year-old victim told the court that the assaults forced him to change schools three times, that he assumed each attack would be the last one but it wasn't, and that he contemplated suicide.

For his part, Laskowski says he's ready to move on.

"It's making me stronger, making me stronger as a man. Been in college for a couple of months now. Trying to move on and today coming through with this, this is definitely gonna help me move on and I'm looking forward to the rest of my life and what I'm gonna do with it," said Laskowski.

During the hearing, the victim asked Laskowski if he would do this to other people in the future and asked, "Why did you do it in the first place?"

Laskowski said he was sorry, but did not apologize outside the court.

With one defendant pleading guilty, it remains to be seen whether Falodun, Kitzinger and Hoge will take their cases to trial, or like Laskowski, plead guilty.

"You can assume there will other pleas given that one has said it happened and agreed to testify against others," said Prof. Fran Watson, IU School of Law.

Laskowski is enrolled at Aurora University, where he is listed on the men's basketball roster for the 2010-2011 season. A page on the university's website indicates that his major is criminal justice.