United States

Weston Teen Soccer Player Accuses Older Team Members of Assault

"He's been affected physically, psychologically, emotionally," said Andrew Yaffa, the teen's attorney

The family of a 14-year-old soccer player is claiming the older team members of a Weston soccer club hazed and violated him during a recent trip abroad.

According to an incident report from the Broward County Sheriff's Office, the victim traveled with Weston FC from January 26 to February 3 to Medellin, Colombia. The teen told detectives that at the beginning of the trip, the older members of the team were verbally assaulting him and calling him offensive names.

"He's been affected physically, psychologically, emotionally," said Andrew Yaffa, the teen's attorney.

The report said that on January 29, six soccer players grabbed and carried the teen into his hotel room, threw him onto his bed face down and forcefully removed his pants and underwear.

Yaffa said the teen's roommates were held down and forced to watch while he was sexually assaulted. The report said the attackers used a blunt object.

"After the attack happened, they sent the attackers home while keeping the victim there without giving him the appropriate attention," Yaffa said.

The 14-year-old's family is now suing the soccer club, as well as the six players accused of assaulting him.

"Unfortunately, the club did not send an appropriate number of supervisors, coaches, managers to manage these kids," Yaffa said.

In a statement, Weston FC said they have a "zero tolerance policy for un-sportsman like behavior, harassment, bullying, intimidation, or violence of any kind."

"Therefore, when we received a report of an incident on a recent international trip, Weston FC immediately suspended all players alleged to have been involved and promptly made a report to the US Center for SafeSport as required by federal law and our National Governing Body," the statement read, in part.

Weston FC also said they have no knowledge of any past hazing or sexual misconduct and they plan to vigorously defend this "unwarranted action" against the club.

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