Norwich football player takes deal in dorm assault case

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BARRE, Vt. (WCAX) Four Norwich University football players were accused of breaking into a dorm room and attacking three other students. Now, a plea deal has been reached in the fourth and final case.

Ryan Shea

Our Dom Amato spoke with the state prosecutor in the case about what's in the deal and what the student faces.

As part of the agreement, Ryan Shea pleaded guilty to simple assault and aggravated disorderly conduct. In exchange, he won't serve any jail time but will be on probation for 18 months.

In early September, police say four Norwich football players broke into a dorm room and allegedly beat up three other students over $5. Records show that one of the victims of the alleged attack got a black eye and had to go to the hospital for stitches.

Shea faced the most serious charges. The case of his brother, Connor Shea, was dealt with in family court. Two others involved -- Owen McKenna, who was the football captain at the time, and current student Michael Curran -- had their cases dropped by the state.

"The defense through the counsel brought forward some other bystander witnesses that weren't part of the initial investigation. That left us with some undeniable evidence that they were in the room but whether they were actually striking the individuals or were engaged in the assaultive behavior would be very difficult to prove to the jury," Washington County State's Attorney Rory Thibault said.

As part of the plea deal, Shea must complete 200 hours of community service, participate in a restorative justice program and attend anger management and mental health counseling.

Curran and McKenna had to make written apologies to the victims and also complete community service.

WCAX News reached out to Norwich for reaction to the deal but they declined to comment.