Not guilty pleas entered for Carmel basketball players


Chris Proffitt/Eyewitness News

Carmel - A prominent attorney for one of the Carmel basketball players charged in assault spoke out Friday.

The former Carmel senior basketball players all waived their rights to initial court hearings scheduled Friday with automatic not guilty pleas entered on their behalf. According to court documents, the trial of 18-year-old Brandon Hoge, who faces three misdemeanor charges, is scheduled to begin in mid-September.

Hoge's attorney declined an on-camera interview, but Robert Kitzinger's lawyer issued a statement on Friday, saying, in part, "Our client and his family have been devastated by the accusations which have led to charges being filed by the grand jury last week."

Attorney James Voyles went on to say that "all of our citizens have a Constitutional right to defend themselves against all criminal charges. This is done through the presentation of evidence, not rumors, and it is done in a courtroom, not through a sensationalistic media" and that "six Hamilton County citizens found no basis to charge any of the young men with any crimes of a sexual nature."

However, one of the three victims allegedly assaulted by the older player on a bus and in a locker room offers a different story, according to his attorney.

"The facts, as I know them, speaking to my client involve a physical grabbing. A confinement where he was held down, a removal of clothing," said attorney Robert Turner.

Turner went on to say that the 14-year-old was then sexually violated. The teen's family plans to file a $2.25 million dollar lawsuit against Carmel Clay Schools.

Attorneys for Hoge, Scott Lazkowski and Oscar Falodun told our news gathering partners at the Indianapolis Star that their clients will stand by their pleas until they see the state's evidence and they haven't seen that yet.