The son of a top Arizona politician was one of two teenagers arrested Monday on accusations they used a broom handle to haze 18 boys at a youth leadership camp in Prescott last summer.
Clif Bennett, 18, of Prescott — son of Senate President Ken Bennett, R-Prescott — and Kyle Wheeler, 19, of Glendale were charged by the Yavapai County Attorney’s Office with 18 counts of aggravated assault and kidnapping.
The investigation began last month when a boy reported to authorities he had been held down and assaulted with a broom handle while attending the camp June 12-17.
Because the boys were clothed, no charges of a sexual nature were filed, Prescott police Lt. Pete Hodap said.
A third suspect, a juvenile, has been identified but not yet arrested or charged, Hodap said.
“As I am sure you can understand, right now I am a father concerned for the wellbeing of his son,” Ken Bennett said in a statement. “I have very few details and have had virtually no opportunity to speak with my son Clif or the authorities involved.
“Because this involves serious allegations, any further comment on it at this time would be inappropriate.”
Ken Bennett considered running in this year’s governor’s race, but announced in November that he would not seek the nomination.
The boys were attending a camp for the Arizona Association of Junior High Students Council, and Clif Bennett and Wheeler were counselors, Hodap said.
Detectives called a list of other campers, identifying 17 other boys who said they had been assaulted in a similar manner, Hodap said.
Some of the boys were from the Valley, but details were not known, Hodap said.
- Tribune writer Dennis Welch and ABC-15 contributed to this report.