BLACKFOOT â€” Four former athletes at Blackfoot High School appeared with their attorneys before Seventh District Magistrate Judge Charles Roos Thursday in the Bingham County Courthouse.
The defendants, Anthony Clarke, Nathan A. Walker, Tyson W. Katseanes and Logan J. Chidester, are all 19 years old.
The four face felony charges of forcible sexual penetration by use of a foreign object and misdemeanor charges for alleged incidents involving underclassmen who were teammates.
Each defendant faces life imprisonment in the Idaho State Penitentiary and/or a $50,000 fine or both for each felony charge.
Clarke and Katseanes each face one felony count while Walker and Chidester face four felony counts apiece.
On Thursday, each defendant was booked, fingerprinted and his photo was taken.
In a joint statement, attorneys for Chidester, Walker and Katseanes said, "As of today, defense counsel have received no evidence to substantiate the felony charges against any of the defendants."
Clarke's attorney, Dean Brandstetter, said he does not speak to the press nor try his cases in the press.
"Rumors can have long-lasting effects," said Justin Oleson, the attorney for Chidester. "People are too quick to judge."
All four defendants will appear for a preliminary hearing before Judge Roos at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2011. The judge anticipates the preliminary hearing will last two or three days.
Judge Roos said, "This case has taken priority in my life; the whole community needs this resolved as soon as possible."
Explaining what can be expected in a preliminary hearing, the judge said, "The prosecutor needs to prove a minimal burden of proof that it is more probable than not that the alleged crime or crimes were committed."
The four defendants also face misdemeanor charges for which their attorneys entered not guilty pleas. They will appear for a pre-trial conference at 1:15 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 1.