RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) – Three men who play soccer at Virginia Commonwealth University now face felony charges.
Bobby Joe Hopper, Finnlay Wyatt, and Donovan Arias, all freshmen, are each charged with a felony for the filming of a nude minor without consent.
The incident occurred at a VCU dorm for soccer students. Arias’ attorney John Luxton said that these charges – of a nude teen filmed – were for a situation that seemed to be for a “prank.”
Luxton said that if someone was filmed, the players didn’t know the victim was underage. The incident occurred November 2, 2013 and a grand jury indicted the three men on Feb. 3.
Wyatt is from Midlothian, Hopper from Atlanta, and Arias from Washington D.C.
Wyatt was chosen the All-Metro boys soccer player of the year in 2013, according to published reports. The Richmond Times Dispatch reported that he is a native of Sheffield, England.
“He was a big presence at Midlothian. An incredible athlete and really well respected around school, so it’s just a shock to see this happen,” Graham Ellis, a former Midlothian High School classmate said about Wyatt.
Jackson Martin played high school soccer against Wyatt while a student at Cosby High School in Midlothian.
“He’s a great athlete, and great competitor, and I have respect for the guy,” Martin said.
“I hope to God these allegations are false, and he can put this behind him,” Ellis said.
The three players have been suspended, VCU confirmed. Their names are still on the VCU website for the 2013-2014 season roster.
VCU is pursuing internal investigations from both a student code of conduct standpoint and through federal Title IX avenues, the university said in a statement.
“Because of the ongoing internal investigation and court proceedings, we cannot comment further on this matter until it is adjudicated except to say that VCU remains committed to an environment free of intimidation, harassment and discrimination,” wrote VCU in a statement.
The defendants will be back in court March 03, 2014.