UPDATE: Ooltewah coaches, asst. principal charged for not reporting assault of 4 players
Two Ooltewah basketball coaches and the school's Athletics Director have been charged in connection to the Ooltewah rape case, Channel 3 has learned.
UPDATE: Their direct claims of bullying gone ignored gave Hamilton County School Board members a raw look at the problem that stands before them.
"I've been bulled for like the last two months," one student told members.
"You didn't have his back. You failed my child," another parent said.
"I feel like the school system failed a 12 year old girl," another grandparent added.
The claims come hours after charges were filed against three Ooltewah High School faculty members in connection to the Ooltewah rape case.
Superintendent Rick Smith suspended the school's athletic director (who also serves as assistant principal), head basketball coach and assistant basketball coach without pay 23 days after the incident happened.
"I didn't have proper evidence of wrongdoing and I have policy that prevents me from doing certain things without evidence," Smith said.
The three are charged with failing to report the sexual abuse of four members of the basketball team to the proper authorities. Smith says he learned through news reports that it was hospital officials who reported the abuse to police and not his staff.
"I didn't know that because we couldn't involve ourselves in the investigation. We had to wait on the district attorney's office and local law enforcement to actually do that," Smith said.
"When did you learn how this was reported?" Channel 3 asked.
"I learned it online through Channel 3 and Channel 9 today. I have yet to hear from law enforcement or the D.A.'s office," Smith said.
Under Tennessee's reporting law, it's mandatory that anyone report suspected child abuse to DCS, a juvenile court judge, or the sheriff or police chief of where the child lives. That includes school faculty and administration. Smith says it's protocol all three facing charges knew about.
"That's where I'd rather think about this as that they didn't follow protocol. I hesitate to believe that they didn't know what to do," Smith added.
More charges could be coming as the Hamilton County District Attorney's office continues to investigate including more teams at Ooltewah High School and former athletes.
Leaders revealed a new system to report bullying and hazing at Thursday's meeting.
It's called "Quick Tip" and is an form posted online. It allows students and parents to report abuse anonymously. You can also include pictures or videos. That message goes directly to the assistant superintendent and the school's principal and is investigated.
Smith says the system went live Wednesday night and tips have already started coming in. Click HERE for the link.
Ooltewah High School Basketball coaches are facing charges in connection with the rape of a player.
The complaint, filed Thursday in Hamilton County Juvenile Court, alleges Head Basketball Coach Andre Montgomery, Assistant Basketball Coach Karl Williams and Assistant Principal and Assistant Principal/Athletic Director Allard Nayadley violated the mandatory reporter law, by not reporting child abuse and/or suspected child sexual abuse or child sexual abuse.
According to court documents, a Hamilton County detective and investigator for the Hamilton County District Attorney’s Office were assigned to investigate the December 22 rape that occurred in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Investigators interviewed players, coaches and school administrators and reviewed documents provided by the Department of Children Services.
According to the complaint, “four freshman basketball players were subjected to apparent sexual assault … one player required surgery due to the injuries he received while staying at the cabin.”
Channel 3 has confirmed all four victims were sexually assaulted with a pool cue.
Investigators found that after Montgomery, Williams and Nayadley were notified of the allegations they did nothing to notify the Department of Children’s Services or law enforcement. It wasn’t until the injured player was taken to a hospital that hospital staff alerted authorities.
An email from District Attorney General Neal Pinkston says that "we are investigating allegations of an ingrained culture of violence among the football and basketball teams at OHS reaching back several years. As we interview potential victims who are former OHS players, if the evidence is sufficient to meet the state’s legal burden of proof, charges will be filed for those incidents as well."
Documents also state that in addition to coaching staff not notifying DCS no one in the Hamilton County Department of Education did either.
READ MORE | Ooltewah Assault
Montgomery, Williams and Nayadley have been ordered to appear before Juvenile Court Judge Robert Philyaw on January 21 at 9:00 a.m.
Stay with Channel 3 and WRCBtv.com for more on this developing story