A former Chicago Bears offensive lineman was one of four men indicted last month for allegedly forcing teenage prisoners to fight.
One of the men is Johan O. Asiata, a former offensive lineman who played in two games for the Bears in 2010. According to the Kane County Chronicle, Asiata, Michael M. Klimek, Andre L. McFarland and Elliott J. Short were indicted for “encouraged certain juvenile residents to physically attack other juvenile residents, facilitated the attacks and stood idly by during the attacks.”
The incidents took place in January at the Illinois Youth Center in St. Charles, Ill.
“Correctional facilities are not supposed to be nice pleasant places, but they’re also not supposed to be places where people are exposed to harm from correctional employees,” Kane County State’s Attorney Joseph McMahon told The Daily Beast.
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The Chronicle reported “that each of the defendants was acting in his official capacity when he engaged in the alleged acts, which took place at the facility — which is public property.”
That newspaper also said that each defendant could face up anything from probation to five years in prison.
According to the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice, the average age of the residents at the youth center is 17.
In 2010, Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune wrote about Asiata, who was born in New Zealand. He moved to Hawaii and “graduated from Youth Challenge Academy, a camp for kids who have made some poor decisions.”
Asiata attended UNLV and wasn’t drafted before he was signed to the Bears’ practice squad in 2010.
“I am still learning,” Asiata told the Tribune. “The more I learn, the better I know I can get. I just like to play. I just like to hit. That’s why I joined football, so I can hit people for fun.”