The only person convicted in the Wilson High School baseball hazing case was sentenced Tuesday night in secret.
Defense attorney Mark E. Guglielmi said his 19-year-old client didn't receive jail time -- a one-year sentence would have been the maximum -- but neither he nor Assistant District Attorney Robert A. Zucco would reveal the actual sentence.
The defendant, his parents and grandparents slipped out a back door to avoid reporters.
Other options included three years' probation or a conditional discharge, each with the possibility of some community service.
The sentence was imposed by Town Justice George R. Berger, who was required under state law to grant the 19-year-old youthful offender status because he was charged with a misdemeanor in a town court and had no previous criminal record.
"The statutes governing the treatment of youthful offenders preclude me from saying anything," Zucco said.
The 19-year-old, who had pleaded guilty June 10 to endangering the welfare of a child, was the only person convicted of anything in the sensational case, first publicized by state police as a felony sexual assault until prosecutors dropped those charges.
"He's the only one who stood up before the judge and took responsibility for his actions, like the fine young man he is," Guglielmi said.
In a nonjury trial, Berger acquitted two co-defendants, both now 18, finding them not guilty July 9 of hazing and forcible touching.
Without explaining the decision, the Niagara County district attorney's office dropped charges of child endangerment July 6 against the team's two coaches, William M. Atlas and Thomas J. Baia.
The charges all stemmed from an incident April 17, 2008, on a Wilson baseball team bus ride home from a game in Niagara Falls.
Two junior varsity players reportedly were dragged to the back of the bus and assaulted by varsity teammates.
Both players and their parents are currently suing the Wilson Central School District, as are the parents of a third junior varsity player who was not attacked April 17.
That player's suit charges that he was repeatedly assaulted and bullied because he tried to stand up for his teammates.
State police launched an internal investigation of the conduct of its officers after a complaint was lodged by a public relations man for the coaches.
The internal probe found no wrongdoing.
This summer, the Wilson Board of Education re-instated Baia and Atlas, who had been suspended with pay, to their teaching and coaching positions.
Under the terms of the district's contract with its teachers' union, taxpayers had to foot the bill for their defense against the child endangerment charges, a tab that approached $200,000, not counting the coaches' salaries or the cost of long-term classroom substitutes.
Baia, a sixth-grade math teacher at Wilson Middle School, has been with the district since 1990 and earns about $86,000 a year.
Atlas, a physical-education teacher at Thomas Marks Elementary School, has been working in Wilson since 2000 and earns about $48,000 a year.
The prosecution sought unsuccessfully to get Berger to allow it to use evidence alleging a history of hazing in the Wilson baseball program, but Berger refused. Those allegations, however, are part of the civil suits.e-mail: email@example.com