Rest Of Season Called Off For Ooltewah High Boys Basketball Due To Rape Investigation; Smith Says No Wrongdoing Found On Part Of Any Adult, Raps Media; Case Featured On Today Show

Thursday, January 7, 2016

County School Supt. Rick Smith said Wednesday night that the rest of the season for the Ooltewah High School basketball team has been canceled due to the ongoing rape investigation.

He said it was necessary to aid the investigation of aggravated rape charges against three team members against a 15-year-old teammate.

Supt. Smith said there had been no wrongdoing found against any adult in the case.

He said, "We are all devastated and deeply concerned" about the incident that occurred at a rental cabin in Gatlinburg while the team was in Sevier County for a tournament.

He said steps were being taken "to see that nothing like this ever happens again."

The Ooltewah season cancellation was a lead story on NBC"s Today Show on Thursday morning.

Supt. Smith read his statement at the start of a specially called school board meeting, and board chairman Jonathan Welch read a statement at the end of the meeting.

Chairman Welch said the board shared the frustration of the public about how the matter had been handled. He said the board has no ability to take action against any personnel, saying, "That lies with the superintendent."

He said the public "may be left with the impression that we are not aware or concerned about the charges." He said board members "do not have words to express the tragic, horrific" case.

He said there has been an impression that the case would be covered up or a scape goat found. He said the correct move was made in having law enforcement take over the investigation.

Chairman Welch said he had confidence "that it will not be swept under the rug and will be thoroughly investigated."

He said, "If we act rashly it will hamper the ability of law enforcement to investigate."

He said board members and school personnel would not have any further comment on the case and all questions should be referred to law enforcement.

There was no public discussion by the board, which met privately with attorney Scott Bennett.

The family of the rape victim said a pool cue was inserted into his rectum and that one of the perpetrators videoed the incident.

The family also said that three other team members had been abuse victims and that there were other "hazing" incidents including assaults in dark locker rooms.

Supt. Smith made no mention of any other alleged incidents, but he said his department was cooperating with police and prosecutors. He said all county school employees were told to answer questions of detectives.

He made no mention of any personnel changes at Ooltewah High. The coach is Andre Montgomery.

Supt. Smith said investigators were concerned about alleged mis-information about the case in the news media.

In brief remarks to the Hamilton County PTA, earlier Wednesday Supt. Smith called the Ooltewah High rape case "truly a tragedy."

He said the incident was "not a reflection of all the students and staff in Hamilton County Schools."

Supt. Smith said, "We are very intent on correcting problems."


Bieses Had Comfortable Quarters On West Fifth Street, Prospect Street On Cameron Hill

Police Blotter: Disorderly Woman In McDonalds Drive-Thru Asked To Leave; Woman’s Not Sure If She Hit Pickup Or It Hit Her

Grand Jury No Bills And True Bills


Charles W. Biese and his son, Robert W., had fine homes on Cameron Hill when it was in its hey day. The Bieses lived at 524 West Fifth St. - at the very end of Fifth at the dead end as the hill ... (click for more)

McDonald's employees at 1117 E. 3rd St. requested police remove an individual driving a dark sedan from trespassing on their property. When the officer arrived, he saw the suspect’s vehicle in ... (click for more)

Here are the No Bills and True Bills from the Hamilton County Grand Jury: No Bills: 1 CLARK, WILLIAM G AGGRAVATED BURGLARY 09/28/2022 1 HAYDEN JR., PAUL LEON EMPLOYING FIREARM DURING ... (click for more)



Breaking News

Bieses Had Comfortable Quarters On West Fifth Street, Prospect Street On Cameron Hill

Charles W. Biese and his son, Robert W., had fine homes on Cameron Hill when it was in its hey day. The Bieses lived at 524 West Fifth St. - at the very end of Fifth at the dead end as the hill rose. Afterward, Robert moved on up to the view at 203 Prospect at the corner of Sixth Street beside the home of attorney Joe Clift. Charles W. Biese was a native of Odenburg, Germany ... (click for more)

Police Blotter: Disorderly Woman In McDonalds Drive-Thru Asked To Leave; Woman’s Not Sure If She Hit Pickup Or It Hit Her

McDonald's employees at 1117 E. 3rd St. requested police remove an individual driving a dark sedan from trespassing on their property. When the officer arrived, he saw the suspect’s vehicle in the drive-thru line. The driver said she was waiting for her order. The officer spoke with the manager who said before the officer arrived, the woman had been banging on the drive-thru window ... (click for more)

Opinion

Soddy Daisy Needs A Real Emergency Room - And Response (2)

I am a longtime resident of north Hamilton County, living in what is now Soddy Daisy. A few years ago, I cut my leg using a chainsaw. My wife drove me to an emergency room in Red Bank. After waiting for what seemed like a long time, I was told I would need to go to their downtown location to be sewn up. They told me, “There’s nobody here who can sew you up!” Frustrated, my wife ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: As Others See Us

The picture shows a young blonde girl, her arm around her dad’s neck, as “she watches a man wearing a dog mask and (draped) in a flag that indicates he likes to pretend to be a dog at the Chattanooga Pride parade in Chattanooga, Tenn., on Oct. 2.” No, I wasn’t there but The Epoch Times was, and on Tuesday there appeared on its website a story with the headline: ‘Corporate-Sponsored ... (click for more)

Sports

Mocs' Ford, Person Tapped As TSWA Football Players Of The Week

Chattanooga’s Ailym Ford and Jay Person were named the Offensive and Defensive Players of the Week, respectively, by the Tennessee Sports Writers Association for their efforts in contests from September 26-October 2. Ford rushed 28 times for 101 yards and two touchdowns in the Mocs’ 24-16 victory at East Tennessee State. The Florence, S.C., native carried 18 times ... (click for more)

Dan Fleser: Bayou Weirdness Ahead For The Vols

The kickoff for Tennessee’s football game at LSU on Saturday is all wrong by bayou standard time. The Tigers typically prowl their stadium and stalk their opponents by moonlight. The atmosphere, no matter how hostile it will be for a 11 a.m. (central time) start, won’t match the decibel level of a night game, when the setting typically is fueled by a full day of . . . er, well ... (click for more)