Former Chicago Bears lineman Johan Asiata is facing nine felony charges in Kane County, Illinois, for his role in forcing juvenile detainees to fight as punishment for bad behavior.
Asiata, 30, became a prison guard after his career with the Bears and stints in the CFL and Arena League faltered. According to Deadspin, he is accused of “intentionally [failing] to report the commission of a battery as required by law, [allowing] juvenile residents to rough house and horseplay, [striking] victims about the body,” and “[bringing] contraband onto the youth center property.”
Asiata is one of four people charged, and the others included possible ringleader Michael Klimek and co-conspirators Andre McFarland and Elliott Short.
Klimek is facing 76 felony charges. The Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office sent out a press release detailing the case:
“[T]he guards, led by Klimek, encouraged certain juvenile residents to physically attack other juvenile residents, facilitated the attacks and stood idly by during the attacks. The offenses took place in January 2016 at the Illinois Youth Center-St. Charles.”
All four suspects were arrested and released on bond. Asiata was arrested on Nov. 23 and released on $5,000 bond the following day.
State’s Attorney Joe McMahon also released a statement to Deadspin: “If we expect people—especially juveniles—to be rehabilitated, then it’s critical that we treat them with dignity and respect when they are in custody so that when they come out of custody they have a chance to reintegrate back into the community in a way that is productive and healthy for them and the community in general.”
If the suspects are convicted, they might serve up to a five-year maximum sentence for all of the charges.
Asiata played college football at UNLV before signing with the Bears as an undrafted free agent in 2009. He was waived by the Bears in 2011.