No criminal charges have been filed following a police investigation into an August hazing incident among Brunswick High football players. Ben McCanna/Staff Photographer

Police say there will be no criminal charges following an investigation into an alleged hazing incident among Brunswick High School football players.

“To dispel rumors associated with this incident, there is no evidence that any sexual assaults occurred,” Brunswick police stated Friday.

Police concluded their investigation — which included a review of cell phone videos provided by the school department — earlier this week.

Police say that during the investigation, potential assault victims were identified, interviews were conducted with those individuals alongside parents and there was no interest by any of the parties involved to pursue criminal charges.

The statement added that after conferring with the Cumberland County District Attorney’s Office, the Brunswick Police Department now considers the case “closed.”

The alleged incident took place during a team retreat at Thomas Point Beach in Brunswick on Aug. 16. According to a report by The Portland Press Herald, school officials were told on Sept. 2 that a player was held down and a sex toy was put into his mouth.

The allegations prompted the school department to open an investigation, which included an outside attorney. The school’s investigation concluded in early October.

Following the school’s investigation, several players were removed from the team, longtime football coach Daniel Cooper was fired and the remainder of the 2021 football season was canceled.

In October, Superintendent Phil Potenziano told The Times Record that policies related to hazing, bullying, harassment, sexual harassment, violence and school safety were considered during the disciplinary process.

“As Superintendent, I am committed to our core mission of educating our students and helping them to learn the skills necessary to become ethical, responsible members of our community,” Potenziano wrote in an email on Friday. “One essential tenet of our mission is ensuring that we have a learning environment and climate that is welcoming and nurturing — one that is free from bullying, harassment, discrimination, and hazing.”

Potenziano added while the incident was a clear violation of school policy, he is gratified that it didn’t rise to the level of illegal activity.

“Therefore, I will be making no further comments on this matter other than to say we will continue to work on ways to ensure all our students and staff feel welcomed and safe in Brunswick Schools,” Potenziano wrote.

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