Seven Ohio middle-schoolers were charged Tuesday with delinquency felony counts accusing them of putting or conspiring to put bodily fluids in crepes that were served to teachers.
The students, all 14-year-old boys in eighth grade at Olentangy Hyatts Middle School, were charged in Delaware County Juvenile Court following a three-month investigation into an incident on May 16 in which several teachers ate crepes reportedly laced with semen and urine. The crepes were part of a Global Gourmet cooking class judged by teachers.
Three students were charged with delinquency felony assault for either putting semen on one teacher’s crepe, bringing semen and planing to put it on a crepe, or putting urine in barbecue sauce poured on crepes that were fed to four teachers, according to court records.
Those students “agreed to admit it was us, how we did it, in exchange for one count,” attorney Brad Koffel, who is representing the students, told The Columbus Dispatch.
Four other students are charged with delinquency complicity to assault a teacher for participating, aiding and abetting or doing nothing to stop it. One of those four is also charged with delinquency tampering with evidence for deleting video of the event along with text messages from his phone.
Koffel said he questions the felony charges because they would require proof that there was infliction of physical harm, but he conceded that the tainted crepes would pose “psychological harm.”
Neither the Delaware County prosecutor’s office nor the county sheriff’s office released a statement or returned calls Tuesday.
Olentangy Local School District issued this statement about the charges: “We are saddened that these charges are a result of actions that took place at one of our schools. Our teachers deserve respect and kindness, and anything less than that is completely unacceptable. We will continue to support law enforcement in every way possible.”
Koffel said the students, from “very, very good families,” have admitted to the acts, have expressed remorse and “have suffered more at home than they’re ever going to get in the court system. The aberrant nature of this has left an indelible mark on them.”
Of the parents of the youths, Koffel said: “This is not learned behavior.” He said it is fueled by social media notoriety, “the idiotic stuff that other teens are watching to get clicks.”
The sheriff’s office has said that video shot of the incident was shared with other students, at least one of whom shared it with a teacher or staff member.
The Dispatch has chosen to not name the juveniles; five are from Powell and two are from the city of Delaware.
Koffel said that juvenile court officials and prosecutors set up the case “where the offense can be expunged and sealed. If their names are permanently etched on social media, it defeats that purpose.”
“They’re eighth-grade kids. Psychologically, they clearly are suffering an amount of trauma because of their dumb actions.”
The students are scheduled to be arraigned in juvenile court on September 16 and 20.