— UPDATED: 5/04/16 6:14pm
Read time: 3 minutes

High School Athlete Pranks Yearbook, Gets Felony Charge (Updated)

A football player at Red Mountain High School acted on a dare by exposing himself in a team photo. Students who believe the punishment is too harsh are petitioning on his behalf.

Mesa, Arizona is known as America's Most Conservative City, likely due to their uncanny resemblance to the ultra-Red State of Utah. Mesa has plenty of Mormon temples and an especially influential LDS population.

Mesa’s religious roots continue to influence the city heavily today. Mormons, though they now constitute only 13 percent of its population (the Catholic population is twice as large, owing to the sizable Hispanic population, with the remaining balance mostly Evangelical Christian), hold three of seven City Council seats (down from four in the last term)...the incoming mayor is an LDS member, as well. The spectacular Mesa Arizona Temple dominates much of central Mesa, and one of the city’s (admittedly few) iconic restaurants, The Landmark, is in a building that began life as a Mormon church. America’s most famous Mormon has a Mesa connection as well—Mitt Romney’s cousin Bill Romney lives there.

Red Mountain High School was recently rocked with what some might consider a scandal, while others label the incident a harmless prank. Hunter Osborn, a senior player on the team acted on a dare from another player to expose himself in a photo. The school has a majority White population and has a Mormon Seminary right across the street.

Obviously not catching the 'obscenity,' the school published the picture in the yearbook and used it in football programs distributed at games.

The student exposed himself in the varsity football team picture, Det. Steve Berry said. Approximately 3,400 students received a yearbook with the image before it was brought to the attention of school officials.

A petition was started on Change.org to get the charges against Osborn dropped. (link below)

Students at Red Mountain High School expressed surprise at the severity of the criminal investigation.

"He made a dumb mistake a little bit, but I don't think he should be charged so heavily for that," senior Zach Anthony said.

Anthony and Brooke Bodrero, a sophomore, said they would not have noticed the offending image without being instructed where to look.

"It's something that's going to be on his record for the rest of his life," Bodrero said. "The consequences are a little harsh."


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If we put this incident in perspective and consider that the Afflueza teen was given probation for a quadruple manslaughter DUI, this is rather excessive. Hopefully his peers will succeed in their petition and be able to salvage his reputation and keep him off sex-offender lists for this immature incident that he obviously regrets.

Perhaps the ultra-conservative mindset of many of the parents of students caused this case to be overblown. It seems as if the LDS rule the school. Here's a comment from a parent of a student at the high school.

Most clubs are run by LDS, so forget about any leadership position if you are not one of them. A few clubs, however, have no/little LDS students, and thank goodness! Sports participation can also be a problem, as LDS rule the majority. Some coaches aren't LDS, so do your homework before enrolling your child in any sport/club/activity. The LDS have their seminary across the street--I often wonder why in the world those of us of Christian, Catholic, Jewish or any other faith can't have the same thing across the street!!

That at least explains why this 'obscene behavior' was so severely punished. The modesty tenet of Mormonism is certainly well enforced in public situations. Utah's guilty pleasure, internet porn, is supposed to be viewed privately, so this sort of stunt is frowned upon.

Update:

The case has been closed without action against him. Which is good. Because there was no need for a prank to brand a kid as a sex offender. - Karoli

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