Tenn. basketball coaches, AD charged in student rape case

OOLTEWAH, Tenn. (WATE) – Two Ooltewah High School boys’ basketball coaches and the school’s athletic director have been charged in a case involving the rape and aggravated assault of a player at a cabin in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.

Court documents say head coach Andre Montgomery, assistant coach Karl Williams and assistant principal/athletic director Jesse Nayadley have all been charged with failure to report child abuse. Superintendent Rick Smith said Thursday the three have been suspended without pay. The three are expected in court on Jan. 21.

Smith said Monday, Montgomery had been transferred to a non-teaching position and would not be allowed on any Hamilton County, Tennessee school campus after learning “new facts” in the case.

Three former players previously have been charged in the case. The 17-year-old and two 16-year-old boys have been charged with aggravated rape and assault stemming from a hazing investigation during a trip to Gatlinburg just before Christmas.

A tentative court date for the teen suspects has been set for Jan. 26 at 8:30 a.m.

Affidavits in the documents obtained Thursday say during the team’s stay in Gatlinburg, four freshmen players were assaulted, including being struck by pool cues. One of the four, a 15-year-old, was allegedly sexually assaulted. The victim had serious injuries that required surgery.

The documents say Montgomery, Williams and Nayadley were made aware of the allegations, but did not notify officials.

District Attorney General Neal Pinkston said in a press release his office is also investigating allegations of “an ingrained culture of violence among the football and basketball teams” reaching back several years. Pinkston says if there is sufficient evidence, additional charges will be filed. Records in the case have also been made available to the public.

School board members say they are reviewing their hazing and bullying policies. One of their first moves was to introduce an anonymous online reporting system. They also plan to possibly counsel students and re-train staff.

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