UPDATE: Detective says Ooltewah assault wasn't rape - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

OOLTEWAH ASSAULT

UPDATE: Detective says Ooltewah assault wasn't rape

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Detective Rodney Burns of the Gatlinburg Police Department. WRCBtv.com photo Detective Rodney Burns of the Gatlinburg Police Department. WRCBtv.com photo
Hamilton County Schools Superintendent Rick Smith Hamilton County Schools Superintendent Rick Smith

UPDATE: After a day of testimony Monday, the case against the three Ooltewah High School officials will be bound over to the grand jury.

The three officials, Coach Andre Montgomery, Assistant Coach Karl Williams and Athletic Director Jesse Nayadley face charges for not properly reporting the December assault, which sent a freshman basketball player to the University of Tennessee Medical Center.

Four Hamilton County school administrators, including Superintendent Rick Smith, testified Monday morning at the preliminary hearing.

Smith took the stand Monday just before 10:00am. He spent nearly an hour on the stand.

Det. Rodney Burns with the Gatlinburg Police Department said the story has been blown out of proportion and called it a kid-on-kid assault. The district attorney said he thought the investigator was minimizing the rape of the player.

"What this case actually is is much smaller than what its been blown up to be," Det. Burns said. "To me it was an assault. It wasn't sexual in nature, his pants weren't pulled down, they weren't doing it for sexual gratification, this was something stupid that kids do that shouldn't have been done, you know?"

Burns also testified some of the team was playing pool while the freshman was getting treatment at the hospital. He said when he arrived at the cabin, the blood was gone and the victim's clothes had been bagged up and tossed away.

"I found out later that the coach's wife had cleaned up some blood in the bathroom where he had gone in and bled," Det. Burns said.

Following testimony from the detective, the judge, district attorney and even the defense attorneys acknowledged the seriousness of the assault.

Subpoenas were filed last month calling Supt. Rick Smith, Asst. Supt. Dr. Lee McDade, Secondary Operations Dir. Steve Holmes and Ooltewah High School Principal Jim Jarvis to testify on behalf of the state. They are testifying against the three faculty members charged in the case.

READ MORE | Ooltewah Assault

Basketball Coach Andre Montgomery, Asst. Coach Karl Williams and Athletic Director Jesse Nayadley are charged with failing to report the rape to the proper authorities.

Reports indicate it was the Gatlinburg hospital staff that first alerted officials.

Juvenile Court Judge Rob Philyaw will hear the preliminary hearing at 9 a.m. He denied the three men's requests to drop the charges during their first court appearance in January.

Channel 3 will have a crew in the courtroom and have minute-by-minute coverage on social media and WRCBtv.com.

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