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County school officials say they should not be liable in 2015 Ooltewah rape case

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OOLTEWAH, TN (WRCB) -

Hamilton County school officials argue they shouldn't be held liable for a second federal lawsuit filed in connection with the 2015 Ooltewah assault case

The lawsuit was filed in December by the family of a former Ooltewah high school basketball player, who was sexually assaulted during the team's trip to Gatlinburg. 

READ MORE | Continuing Coverage: Ooltewah Assault

Before the trip, the family says the victim endured months of harassment and beatings by teammates, and the lawsuit claims the school district allowed a culture of bullying and sexual assault. 

But in the district's 17-page response, attorney Charles Purcell, denies the lawsuit's allegations.

The response says the school district shouldn't be held responsible for the assault, saying the boys are the sole cause of the alleged injuries of the victims. 

The school system claims the plaintiff has "no legally cognizable action against this defendant for negligent supervision. 

The 18-year-old involved in the Ooltewah assault was convicted of aggravated rape and aggravated assault.

The two other suspects were convicted of aggravated assault. 

All three boys have been released from juvenile detention.

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