Updated: Thursday, 02 Jun 2011, 5:41 PM MDT
Published : Thursday, 02 Jun 2011, 5:41 PM MDT
BELEN, NM (KRQE) - Two former Valencia High School football players accused of sexually hazing a younger teammate last year will now be tried as adults.
A Valencia County grand jury Thursday afternoon returned with indictments that could put the teens behind bars for more than forty years.
Jeremiah Carroll and Jake Sanchez had already been charged in juvenile court in connection with this case.
According to this latest indictment, the teens kidnapped, then sexually assaulted a fellow football player at Valencia High School. They are now charged as adults with rape, along with another former football player Curtis Peralta who was already charged as an adult.
Valencia County District Attorney Lemuel Martinez said he wanted these teens tried as adults because he wanted to send a message that this won't be tolerated. "If anybody gets an idea about doing this in New Mexico, these are serious charges. This is not hazing, its sexual assault," said Martinez.
Carroll and and Sanchez were also slapped with a kidnapping charges on Thursday which could send them to prison for a very long time.
If the teens are convicted, a judge could still sentence them as juveniles if he deems that they can be rehabilitated. That means they would be released when they turn 21.