Federal court documents reveal new details about 2015 Ooltewah assault case
The records show the school's former principal wasn't aware there was more than one victim during the attack and are part of a lawsuit against Hamilton County schools.
Court documents are revealing new details about the 2015 rape of an Ooltewah High School basketball player.
Those records show the school's former principal wasn't aware there was more than one victim during the attack.
The federal court documents were filed on Monday as part of a lawsuit against Hamilton County schools. The victims are asking a judge to agree with them that Hamilton County lacked the training needed to put a stop to a culture of sexual assault.
One of the victims from the Ooltewah assault case says "rackings" were a regular thing for freshmen on the basketball team. It's a gang-initiation term that means beatings to "become part of the family."
When the team traveled to Gatlinburg for a basketball tournament in December of 2015, one of the players claims an assault happened in a hot tub when no adults were around.
He said he was thrown in the hot tub and told "this is going to make you a man." Upperclassmen later wrestled him to the ground while another used a pool stick to touch his backside, according to federal court documents.
He managed to fight them off.
The second victim reportedly hid pool sticks because another student told him teammates had used them in the past. Court documents state three upperclassmen later raped him with a pool stick.
The student who got away claims he told volunteer coach Karl Williams, who said "they better not be doing that - or have that in there with them."
Williams said in a federal court declaration that if he knew any member of the team had been hurt before the night of the Ooltewah assault, he would've intervened.
Hamilton County's District Attorney dismissed criminal charges against him since he was a volunteer coach and was not provided any training regarding the mandatory reporting law.
Months after the attacks, the attorney for Hamilton County Schools, Scott Bennett, emailed then principal Jim Jarvis begging him to help one of the victims.
He replied "that he was only aware of a single victim."
An explosive email shows Bennett telling Jarvis that one student "suffered an aggravated rape," but "others are said to have suffered sexual battery, and that all were hazed."
He told another attorney conducting an external investigation that he "didn't think any other principal in the entire district would have sat back and waited on the lawyer to tell him how to handle his students and team."
Jarvis said in his federal court declaration that he was not aware of any issues with the team before December 22, 2015.
Channel 3 contacted the attorneys for Jarvis and Williams along with the attorney for Hamilton County Schools.
Jarvis' attorney referred us to his federal court declaration. The others did not respond back.