Tennessee rape case involving basketball players involved four student victims, prosecutors say
Ooltewah, TENNESSEE — Weeks after members of a Tennessee high school basketball team were charged with raping one of their teammates, prosecutors say three other children on the team were also sexually assaulted, and on Thursday, three school officials were charged with failing to report child sexual abuse.
The Hamilton County District Attorney’s Office also said it is looking into “allegations of an ingrained culture of violence among the football and basketball teams at OHS (the high school) reaching back several years.”
The investigation resulted in charges Thursday against three Ooltewah High School employees. Allard “Jesse” Nayadley, Ooltewah High School’s athletic director and assistant principal; Andre Montgomery, the boys basketball coach; and Karl Williams, an assistant coach, did not adequately notify the proper authorities of the allegations, prosecutors say.
The case began after one of the boys required emergency surgery for injuries he suffered during a December 22 incident at a cabin in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. The basketball team was playing in a tournament.
Three juveniles face aggravated rape and aggravated assault charges in connection with the incident.
The district attorney’s office said authorities are working to determine whether any other similar incidents occurred this school year.
Ooltewah is a suburb of Chattanooga and about 130 miles southwest of Gatlinburg.
CNN has attempted to reach Nayadley, Montgomery and William for comment. An attorney for Montgomery has not responded to CNN’s request for comment.
The three men have court dates scheduled for January 21.
The December incident
Court documents obtained by CNN affiliate WTVC show that a 17-year-old teammate is being charged with sodomizing a 15-year-old with a pool stick while two 16-year-old teammates held him down; the victim’s grandmother also told CNN about that detail. Gatlinburg police statements do not mention a pool stick.
The grandmother said there were no adults around when the incident occurred. (CNN is not naming her because identifying her could identify a sexual assault victim, which is against CNN policy.)
The coach rushed the victim to the hospital, police said. The boy was later sent to a hospital in Knoxville, where he underwent surgery. He has since been released from the hospital and is home recovering, his family said.
The accused teens will be in court on January 26 in Sevier County.
Montgomery, the head coach, has been moved to another position within the school system where he will not interact with students during the investigation.
“I don’t want anyone to think he’s being punished or penalized. … If we find other reasons to address the coach, we will. I’ve also instructed him not to be on the campus of any of our schools until this investigation is over,” Hamilton County Superintendent Rick Smith said Monday before charges were filed.
Smith canceled the basketball season on January 6, an action he said was not a reflection on the coaching staff, but was necessary so investigators could do their job.
He said he regretted not publicly addressing the issue earlier.