Suspect pleads not guilty in Dietrich sexual assault

A former Dietrich High School football player pleaded not guilty in a sexual assault case involving a teammate.

John R.K. Howard, now of Keller, Texas, faces a felony count of forcible penetration using a foreign object.

Howard and two teammates are accused of using a coat hanger to assault another teammate — a grisly case that has drawn national attention to the rural Magic Valley district. The three suspects in the case are white; the alleged victim is black.

Howard is the only suspect still being changed as an adult, the Twin Falls Times-News reported Tuesday. Felony charges were dropped last week against 17-year-old Tanner Ray Ward. A third suspect is facing charges in juvenile court. Juvenile court files are sealed.

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