Former high school football player John R. K. Howard entered a so-called “Alford plea,” meaning he maintains his innocence while admitting a judge or jury would likely find him guilty. He was sentenced to probation and community service, and his conviction might be entirely dismissed at a later date.
The Guardian has more on the specific allegation of assault, which began with an invitation for a hug:
“The young man said that one of his friends motioned for him to come over and hugged him while another player shoved a hanger into his anus. Then, the victim said, Howard kicked the hanger, which pushed it further into his rectum.
” ‘Pain that I have never felt took over my body,’ he said during the April hearing, according to the transcript obtained by the Guardian. ‘I screamed, but afterwards, I kept it to myself.’ ”