Police will not file criminal charges relating to the hazing scandal that roiled Central Bucks High School West this fall, authorities said Friday.
After a five-week investigation in which police interviewed more than 70 people, investigators determined that there was "nothing in there . . . rising to the level of a criminal offense," said Lt. Patrick Penecale of the Central Bucks Regional Police Department.
The investigation was closed Tuesday, Penecale said.
Bucks County District Attorney David Heckler said that he concurred with the decision and that his office had also not discovered any evidence of criminality in the alleged activities.
Hazing charges first surfaced in late October when Central Bucks School District Superintendent David Weitzel abruptly canceled the rest of the football season for West for what he called a "humiliating" preseason initiation for some team members.
Weitzel reported that rookie players had been forced to touch their teammates' genitals while clothed, that some players had been told to go into the shower with towels over their heads - an activity initially dubbed "waterboarding" - and that younger players were wetted down and covered in powder, which was called "sugar cookie."
School officials uncovered the activities after they received a complaint from a parent about another aspect of the annual preseason picnic - a tradition of rookie haircuts. In investigating that complaint, Weitzel reported, officials soon uncovered the broader set of apparent rituals.
Quickly after that discovery, Weitzel announced he was canceling the last two games of the team's season and suspending the coaches. Police announced an investigation into the hazing.
About a month later, in mid-November, Weitzel fired head coach Brian Hensel from the team for not properly supervising the players. Hensel kept his job as a chemistry teacher at the Doylestown school.