Court dates set Friday for two wrestlers charged in bus assault, a third faces hearing in September

(Casper, Wyo.) – Prosecutors have charged a third Riverton High School wrestler in connection with a series of attacks alleged to have taken place in January on a school bus traveling through Natrona County, according to a report in the Casper Star-Tribune.

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Authorities say three wrestlers held down younger teammates while on a Jan. 4 wrestling trip. Two wrestlers who were charged earlier are also accused of forcing fingers into the younger students’ anuses.

The students have been charged as adults in Natrona County Circuit Court.

Prosecutors filed charges against James Hampton, 17, of Riverton, on Thursday. He faces two counts of misdemeanor unlawful contact alleging he facilitated attacks on younger students by holding them down.

Hampton’s attorney did not immediately respond to a phone message requesting comment.

Wempen and Rees likewise face two misdemeanor counts each of unlawful contact in connection with the case.

The documents state that Hampton told a sheriff’s investigator he did not penetrate any underclassmen. He did admit to “physical contact, restraint, manipulation and removal of an underclassman from their seat on the school bus,” the investigator wrote.

Allegations related to the case have also led to three wrestlers’ expulsion from school for one year. The Fremont County School District No. 25 school board voted to expel the students in early July following a 13-hour hearing in late June. The students will be eligible to return in January.

It is not clear from court documents or school district statements whether Hampton, Rees or Wempen were among those expelled.

Wempen did not enter pleas when he appeared in court on July 20. A prosecutor said he expects Wempen will plead guilty to both counts as part of a deal. His change of plea hearing is scheduled for September.

Rees and Hampton are both expected to appear in court Aug. 10.

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