Resignation And Investigations Swirl Around Contentious Dietrich, Idaho Assault Case

Mar 10, 2017

The Idaho Judicial Council plans to investigate Judge Rand Stoker over his handling of a contentious case centering on Dietrich High School students.
Credit AP

The Superintendent of Schools in Dietrich, Ben Hardcastle, announced his resignation yesterday. His announced departure is just the latest fallout from the court case involving two Dietrich High School football players.

Hardcastle’s resignation comes in the wake of a scandal centering on John Howard. The white football player was accused of assaulting a mentally disabled black teammate and forcibly penetrating him with a coat hanger.

Hardcastle, who became superintendent in 2015, told the Times News in a statement he'd be leaving his position at the end of the contract year. His resignation letter makes no mention of the recent scandal.

Meanwhile, the Idaho Judicial Council says it plans to investigate the judge in the contentious case. Judge Randy Stoker said the incident didn’t constitute a sex crime, and Howard took a plea deal with a lesser charge of felony injury to a child. Stoker sentenced Howard to 300 hours of community service and three years probation.

Outraged by the sentence, a woman from Caldwell circulated an online petition calling for Stoker's removal from the bench. It got over 170,000 signatures. She sent an official, notarized complaint form to the Judicial Council who plan to investigate.

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