Three players from the Ooltewah High School boys' basketball team in Ooltewah, Tenn. allegedly raped one of their teammates on December 21 while the team was on the road for a tournament. Now, as new details emerge, Hamilton County superintendent Rick Smith has decided to cancel the remainder of the team's season.
The 15-year-old victim, a freshman at Ooltewah, was allegedly sodomized by a senior and two sophomores with a pool cue and suffered a ruptured colon and bladder during the apparent hazing incident. Even more troubling is the way the school handled the situation. Although head coach Andrew Montgomery took the victim to a nearby hospital and the attackers were immediately kicked off the team, Montgomery decided to stay in Gatlinburg, Tenn. to play in the tournament and then went to another one after it ended. Additionally, Smith waited two weeks to speak publicly about the ordeal before canceling the Ooltewah season.
"This decision is not a reflection upon the coaching staff," he said. "Indeed, law enforcement officials have to date found no evidence any adult acted improperly. Likewise, this decision is not meant to punish the boys on the team who are innocent of any wrongdoing and simply want to play high school sports.”
The family of the victim wants the basketball team's coaches to be suspended and have accused the school of "having a history of hazing." Their son now has to wear a catheter and colostomy bag and will need two to three months to recover. He has also been having nightmares in the days since the attack.
The three suspects in the case have all been charged with aggravated rape and aggravated assault. They have not been named because they are juveniles. Stay tuned for additional details regarding the case.
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