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Charge filed against Klamath Falls high schooler in alleged sexual hazing incident


The assault allegedly occurred in August by three members of the Klamath Falls Falcons baseball team when they were playing in a tournament in Ephrata, Washington.

Eighteen-year-old Owen Cheyne has been charged with assault in the fourth degree, according to Grant County Prosecutor Kevin McRae. The alleged victim was their unnamed 15-year-old teammate. The baseball team is not affiliated with the school district.

Two other alleged perpetrators, who are both minors, will be sent to the Grant County Youth Services Diversion Program, which is for minors with no prior criminal record, McRae said. It may include community service, counseling, and apologies.

According to the program's website, "Juvenile offenders of minor criminal offenses are often referred to the Grant County Youth Services Diversion Program. Diversion is an alternative intervention to the court process that will work at holding youth accountable for his/her negative behavior."

Under Washington law, assault in the fourth degree is a gross misdemeanor. It is punishable by a maximum of 364 days in jail and a $5,000 fine. Cheyne does not have an attorney, according to staff at the district court.

The Ephrata Police Department wrapped up its investigation into the incident in September, which was then used by Washington state prosecutors to determine whether or not to file charges.

The alleged victim and his mother are represented by Gilion Dumas of Dumas and Vaughn, a law firm in Portland that specializes in sexual abuse and assault.

Dumas declined to comment, and McRae declined to comment on the specifics of the case.

Jane Vaughan is a regional reporter for Jefferson Public Radio. Jane began her journalism career as a reporter for a community newspaper in Portland, Maine. She's been a producer at New Hampshire Public Radio and worked on WNYC's On The Media.