by: David Ham Updated:
Snohomish County deputies said they may not pursue charges on five teens they suspect of brutally hazing sevenunderclassmen at Inglemoor High School.
One of those underclassmen first told KIRO how he was burned with a cigar, beaten with a PVC pipe and was urinated on. He also said he didn’t think those involved should be punished for the tradition.
Lt. Jeffrey Brand said the seven teenagers who were beaten were uncooperative with deputies at the scene.
"It's just tradition. I don't think they should be in trouble; that could just ruin their lives," said James Walvatne, a junior who was initiated on Monday night.
KIRO 7 is following this story, and will have more about what the school is telling parents on Eyewitness News from 5 to 6:30 p.m.
Criminal attorney Anne Bremner said the Snohomish County Prosecuting Attorney could still pursue charges, even if the victims do not cooperate.
"Can they subpoena these victims? Yes. Can get a material witness warrant? Yes. So there are ways to get around the lack of cooperation," Bremner said.
A prosecutor for the Snohomish County Prosecuting Attorney's Office said it's not up to the victims to press charges, it's up to the prosecutor.
Senior class President Chandler Olsen said he isn't surprised the victims aren't talking.
"It was all denial. They would say nothing has happened and it was all this brotherhood, this secrecy, saying no, nothing happened," Olsen said.
He said the tradition of initiating the "Naked Viks" has spiraled out of control.
"The past five years it's really escalated; it used to be this thing with some maple syrup, maybe some flour," Olsen said.
The Northshore School District said it is continuing to cooperate with detectives on the investigation and is encouraging the victims' families to press charges.
Click here to read our first story on the Inglemoor High hazing investigation.