Athletic Director, 2 Coaches Facing Charges For Not Reporting Ooltewah High School Basketball Team Rape Case; Probe Looking At "Ingrained Culture Of Violence" In OHS Football, Basketball

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Three adults will be charged in connection with the Ooltewah High School basketball rape case, which happened in December.

A complaint filed by District Attorney Neal Pinkston on Thursday afternoon listed OHS Head Coach Andre Montgomery, Assistant Coach Karl Williams and Athletic Director Jesse Nayadley.

The three are to be brought before Hamilton County Juvenile Court Judge Rob Philyaw next Thursday at 9 a.m. to answer why they did not report instances of child abuse.

County School Supt. Rick Smith said Thursday night the three are suspended without pay pending the completion of the investigation.

A document filed in Hamilton County Juvenile Court says during the team's stay in Gatlinburg, four freshmen basketball players were "subjected to assaultive behavior including but not limited to being struck with pool cues and also these four freshman basketball players were subjected to apparent sexual assault."

One player had to undergo emergency surgery due to the injuries he received while at a rental cabin. Three older players have been charged with aggravated rape and assault in Sevier County.

DA Pinkston said the coach nor the athletic director notified the Department of Children's Services or any law enforcement after the incident happened.

The filing also says no one from the Hamilton County Department of Education made the required filing.

Under state law, child abuse, apparent child abuse or child sexual abuse must be reported immediately.

DA Pinkston and Sheriff Jim Hammond have been carrying out an investigation of the case, including interviewing players, coaching staff, and Ooltewah High School administrators.

The probe also focused on reports of past "assaultive behavior" engaged by players in October, November and December of 2015, it was stated.

The district attorney's office said,

"Thursday afternoon, District Attorney General Neal Pinkston filed a criminal complaint against three people associated with Ooltewah High School for Failure to Report Child Sexual Abuse of four victims who are players on the OHS boys’ basketball team. 

"Juvenile Court Judge Robert Philyaw issued criminal summonses in lieu of arrest for OHS Assistant Principal/Athletic Director Allard J. Nayadley, OHS boys’ basketball coach Andre Montgomery, and assistant coach Karl Williams. Under Tennessee's mandatory reporting law, all three are required to report any suspected child sexual abuse to the state Department of Children’s Services, the sheriff of the county in which the children reside, the police chief of the municipality in which the children reside, or the juvenile court judge with jurisdiction over the child. 

"An investigator from the DA’s Office and a HCSO detective are working to determine the scope of criminal activity that took place this school year related to assaults committed by older members of the Ooltewah boys’ basketball team against freshmen players. Charges against three players have already been filed in Sevier County and additional charges are expected to be filed in Hamilton County. 

"Additionally, 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. 

"If anyone has knowledge of any crimes related to this investigation, they should call the Hamilton County District Attorney’s Office at 423-209-7400

"General Pinkston filed a motion in Juvenile Court requesting all filings in this case be made public due to the overwhelming public interest in this case. Judge Rob Philyaw verbally approved the motion which means the filings are available at Juvenile Court."

Click here to read the affidavit.


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