45-year old Dewey Thacker is facing misdemeanor child endangering charges stemming from an incident on February 5 that was caught on camera at a Vinton County school when he witnessed an assault on a 12-year old boy in a high school wrestling room and did nothing to stop it.
It is unclear what Thacker’s position with the school wrestling team is as he is not a board approved assistant coach or volunteer. He has now been told to stay off of school property.
According to a sheriff’s report reviewed by the Athens Messenger, on February 5 seven boys were in the wrestling room – either actively participating in the assault or as witnesses while a 12-year old male was assaulted. This includes one victim, a 12-year-old male. For 30-minutes the 12-year old was “continuously picked on” by the other boys and was recorded by school cameras with Dewey Thacker in the room…doing NOTHING to stop it.
As reported by the Athens Messenger
The report describes the victim at various points being jumped on-top of; pinned to the ground; anally probed; spanked; and having his feet tied together. At one point the boy is said to have gotten up and walked over to a nearby treadmill. A fellow wrestler then picks him up, places him on the ground and the incident continues.
The Vinton County Prosecutors Office has reviewed the tape and according to a report from Columbus 10TV News, prosecutor Trecia Kimes-Brown stated
There is a point to me in the tape where the conduct of the kids moves beyond goofing off, or boys being boys or horseplay, as some people have called it, and rises to the level of criminal conduct.”
I have issue with “some people” in Vinton County calling what these juveniles did as “boys being boys” and let’s be honest. After reading what the boys did, this wasn’t just an assault. It was a sexual assault. Sexually assaulting someone is neither horseplay or boys being boys. Prosecutors said the turning point happened when a teen was observed on the video “sticking his hand down his own pants and taking it out and wiping it on the victim’s face.”
Thacker claims that he didn’t do anything to intervene because the “boys were always horsing around”. This statement is quite bothersome. If Dewey Thacker was okay with not stopping this assault and considered it to be just horsing around – how many other times has this happened in the wrestling room where he did not intervene?
I did a social media search for Thacker and did locate a Twitter account under the name bigdewder. I’m not going to lie. I really wasn’t surprised at the tone of his account. Anyone who stands around while boys are sexually assaulting another child can’t have much of a moral compass. He parrots right wing hate mongering (Islam, misogyny, and liberals, etc) and is a huge supporter of the orange one.
What is completly ironic is that Dewey Thacker apparently cares more about the burning of an American flag than someone’s child being sexually assaulted in front of him.
Superintendent Rick Brooks claims that the district conducted its own investigation of the incident “right away.” He did not say what discipline the students received and in the school district’s full statement made the claim that they were unable to legally release any information about student discipline.
Once the investigation was concluded, appropriate discipline was issued to all students who were determined to have engaged in misconduct.” .
Thacker is expected to face a judge to answer to the child endangering charges on March 12 and the prosecutor’s office does intend to file juvenile charges against several teens. The charges could range from assault, to unlawful restraint, to sexual imposition depending on the role each teen played in the incident.