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White high school football player rapes handicapped black teammate with coat hanger, walks free

The main perpetrator of a sexual assault against a black teenager with mental disabilities will not receive any jail time or be classified as a sex offender. 

John R.K. Howard and two other football players pretended to offer the victim a hug, then held him down and inserted a coat hanger into his rectum last year. The third attacker also kicked the coat hanger further into the victim’s body multiple times.

This assault was the worst of many months of racial bullying endured by the 18-year-old victim by his fellow football teammates, including being called names like “chicken-eater,” “Kool-Aid,” “watermelon” and the N-word. Howard, described as the ringleader, had also previously posted a confederate flag on the victim’s computer and forced the victim memorize and recite a racist song called “Moonman Notorious KKK.” Some of the lyrics go as follows:

“Moon man, Moon man, can’t you see
S***s and ni**ers need to hang from trees
And I just love your racist ways
I guess that’s why their mom is black and you’re so great”

Howard only had to plead to one felony count of “injury to a child.” Should he successfully serve his probation and complete 300 hours of community, his conviction will likely be dismissed. One of the convictions of his plea enables Howard to maintain his innocence.

The victim is still pursuing a $10 million civil lawsuit against the district for ignoring the bullying that the victim endured for months.

“Mr. Howard is a relative of prominent individuals in the community and, at least in part due to his athletic ability and community connections, the Defendants ignored or were deliberately indifferent to the behavior of Mr. Howard which included aggression, taunting and bullying of The Plaintiff and other students in the District,” the civil lawsuit says. “With deliberate indifference, the Defendants did nothing to curb the vicious acts of Mr. Howard who brought with him from Texas a culture of racial hatred towards the Plaintiff.”

Nathan Wellman is a Los Angeles-based journalist, author, and playwright. Follow him on Twitter: @LightningWOW

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