Accused Principia hazing ringleader gets prison time, avoids being sex offender

TOWN AND COUNTRY, Mo. - Prosecutors called Josh Brewer the ringleader of the 2014 Principia Upper School hazing attacks.

It all happened during the summer of 2014 at a football camp for teens at the prestigious Town and Country private school. Five upperclassmen stormed their teammates' rooms in the middle of the night, pulled them out of their beds, pinned them down, and sodomized them.
St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch described Brewer on Tuesday as "a sex offender, has been for a long time, and will continue to be. I don't have any doubt about that."

McCulloch's office made plea deals with three former Principia students but took Josh Brewer and Maverick Holmsley to trial.

A jury convicted Holmsley in 2016 and a judge sentenced him to five years in prison. A jury couldn't decide Brewer's case. It was a mistrial. The second trial was scheduled for later this year.

With three and a half years of repeated demands of the victims, McCulloch said it became too much, so they worked a plea deal. Brewer will be a felon and serve four months prison "shock time."

"They want this guy to go to prison, they understand he's a predator too, but you know we're hoping to be able to avoid subjecting their kids to another trial and so we were able to work this aspect of it out," McCulloch said.

A mother of one of the victims cried in court as she said told the defendant, "You're old enough to know forcible anal penetration is rape, not a football tradition."

Scott Rosenblum, Brewer's attorney, said that's what his client was prepared to fight.

"Certainly, Josh was never going to plead to anything having to do with a sex offense. It was our view always that this was never an appropriate sex case. So once the amendment was agreed to, he accepted responsibility for assault in the second-degree and hopefully he'll be out in 120 days and resume his life."

Brewer, now 20 years old, pleaded guilty to three felony assault counts. He'll have to serve the 120 days in the state penitentiary but won't have to register as a sex offender.

Prosecutors also called Brewer the type of offender who commits future crimes, pointing out he was just arrested in December for DWI, marijuana possession, and resisting arrest in Florida. He could get more prison time if he violates his probation. Under this deal, a violation could get him seven years in prison.