New delays in Carmel HS bus assault
Sandra Chapman/13 Investigates
Carmel - There are new delays in the case of several Carmel High School basketball players facing serious charges.
Two players charged with battery and criminal recklessness in the Carmel locker room and bus assaults have had their trial dates pushed back.
Oscar Falodun and Robert Kitzinger were supposed to face a jury next week along with Brandon Hoge. But now it looks like all three cases will be delayed.
Kitzinger's attorneys managed to get his case moved to a week before Christmas if it goes to trial at all. In court filings, his attorneys cited a previous reason for the continuance, saying, "There are current circumstances which may eliminate the need for this hearing and additional time is needed to determine if the hearing is necessary."
Indication of a possible plea deal in the works. It could explain why Kitzinger's Change of Venue hearing is scheduled December 17th, a day after his jury trial is supposed to begin.
According to Kitzinger's Facebook page, he is attending Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. The court approved a travel permit for him August 17th, days after 13 Investigates broke the story that his enrollment at DePauw University had been deferred.
Oscar Falodun was attending college at Indiana University East in Richmond. But IU officials say he has withdrawn from the school. His case is also now set for December 16th.
A motion was filed for Brandon Hoge Friday morning, with no objections from Prosecutor Sonja Leerkamp. A judge has yet to rule on that continuance. According to the document, "Parties are hereby notified that plea negotiations must be completed prior to the final pre-trial conference."
Scott Laskowski, the fourth suspect, is charged only in the locker room incidents with three counts of Criminal Recklessness and is set to go to trial November 17th.
All of the charges stem from attacks between November 2009 and January of this year on three different students. One victim says the basketball players held him down and forced their fingers into his bottom.
That victim's parents released an investigative report by Indiana's Department of Child Services substantiating abuse, specifically Criminal Deviate Conduct against all four players.
But the Hamilton County Prosecutor did not file any felony sexual assault related charges. All were misdemeanors, the most serious is battery.
None of the attorneys involved in the case could speak with 13 Investigates due to a pre-trial publicity gag order. But experts say in misdemeanor cases, for first time offenders plea deals are a reality.