Mr. Cooksey, Mr. Pettway and Mr. TeBos did not respond to voice mail messages seeking comment on Tuesday. Phone calls to Mr. Spielman and Mr. Kregel were not answered, and Mr. Kregel did not respond to an email seeking comment. Mike Swider, who is the head coach and has worked on the Wheaton coaching staff for 33 years, also did not respond to an email seeking comment.
The victim, whose name prosecutors did not release, provided a statement about the episode through his lawyer, Terry A. Ekl. In the statement, he accused the suspects of abducting him from a dorm room on March 19, 2016; wrapping duct tape around his arms, legs and chest; and transporting him in a vehicle to a baseball field. On the way there, he said, they beat him; partly stripped him; threatened to rape him; tried to sodomize him with an unidentified object; and took his phone, wallet and one shoe. They then dumped him half-naked in the field shortly before midnight, he said.
During the assault the assailants played Middle Eastern music on their car radio, put on fake Middle Eastern accents and threatened to rape him, the victim said. His lawyer said the victim was not Muslim or of Middle Eastern descent and he believed that the assailants pretended to be Middle Eastern to “scare” the victim.
“We have all seen situations where young men engage in foolish and immature conduct,” Mr. Ekl said. “What was done to our client in this case is far beyond what is acceptable behavior or which can be dismissed as merely harmless hazing.”
After the assault, the victim made his way back to campus and called his mother, who arranged for him to meet his grandparents at a nearby hospital. Emergency room staff members there called the police and conducted a rape test, which concluded that he had not been penetrated, his statement said.
The victim said the assault caused “a tremendous amount of pain” and left him with labral tears in both shoulders that required surgery. The day after the attack, his father moved his belongings out of his dorm and he now attends a college in Indiana, Mr. Ekl said.
“This has had a devastating effect on my life,” the victim said in a statement. “What was done to me should never occur in connection with participation in a football program or any other activity.”
“I am confident that the criminal prosecution will provide a fair and just punishment to the men who attacked me,” the victim added.
Wheaton College is an evangelical Christian institution in Wheaton, Ill., about 25 miles west of Chicago. The liberal arts college, which has about 2,850 students, describes its mission as providing excellence in Christian education.
Students are required to abide by a “community covenant” based on what the college views as Christian principles, including “the call to pursue holiness in every aspect of our thought and behavior” and “the call to treat our own bodies, and those of others, with the honor due the very temple of the Holy Spirit.”
College administrators were told about the hazing allegations by the coaching staff and members of the football team in March 2016, Ms. Taylor, the college spokeswoman, said in a statement on Tuesday. She declined to say whether the players were taken off the team at that time or to explain why they were on the 2017 team roster.
“Wheaton College aspires to provide an educational environment that is not only free of hazing, but practices our values as a Christian community,” the statement from the college said. “As such, we are deeply troubled by the allegations brought by law enforcement against five members of our football team.”
After an internal investigation, the players were given a “range of corrective actions,” the college said. The school said it was unable to disclose what those correction actions may have been because of federal student privacy protections.
Wheaton College faced controversy last year after it put Larycia Hawkins, a tenured associate professor of political science, on administrative leave after she wrote on Facebook that Christians and Muslims “are people of the book” who “worship the same God.”
The college defended itself against criticism that its actions violated academic freedom or displayed anti-Muslim sentiment. Ms. Hawkins agreed to “part ways” with Wheaton after the controversy.
The football team was also criticized in 2015 after its members wore Ku Klux Klan robes and carried Confederate flags as part of a team-building activity in a campus gym, according to The Chicago Tribune. The team later apologized and said the robes and flags had been part of a skit parodying the 2003 Martin Lawrence and Will Smith film…