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.

Kevin Richert

Kevin Richert

Senior reporter and blogger Kevin Richert specializes in education politics and education policy. He has more than 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism. He is a frequent guest on "Idaho Reports" on Idaho Public Television and "Idaho Matters" on Boise State Public Radio. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinRichert. He can be reached at [email protected]

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