Three high school boys’ basketball players from Tennessee are being held in a juvenile detention facility in Gatlinburg, Tenn., after being charged with aggravated rape and assault in the alleged hazing of a 15-year-old teammate, according to multiple reports.
According to Chattanoogan.com, the three teens, ages 17 and under, were removed last week from the Ooltewah (Tenn.) boys’ basketball team, which had been staying in a rental cabin while playing in the Smoky Mountain Classic holiday tournament from Dec. 21-23. They are currently being held at Sevier County Juvenile Facility, per WBIR-TV.
The 15-year-old suffered a ruptured colon and bladder after being beaten and sodomized with a pool stick, a family member told Chattanoogan.com. Ooltewah coach Andre Montgomery took the boy to LeConte Medical Center in Sevierville, Tenn., where he was treated and released, but he collapsed the next day and was rushed to the University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville, Tenn., where he had emergency surgery, the family member said.
He is expected to need 2-3 months to recover, the family member said.
“He is having nightmares,” the family member told Chattoonagan.com on Tuesday. “He has stated that he thought that he was going to die as a result of the assault. In addition, once he is finally discharged he has to wear a catheter and colostomy bag for at least two weeks or longer.”
At least two of the three alleged assailants are seniors, according to WRCB-TV, and the victim is a freshman. The Owls have since played two games with a depleted roster at the Best of Preps tournament at Chattanooga State University, where they are scheduled to play in a fifth-place game Tuesday.
In a statement to the Associated Press, Gatlinburg Police said the LeConte Medical Center alerted the authorities when the victim arrived on Dec. 23, and his three former teammates will be charged as juveniles. Their names were not released. In additional to the criminal proceedings, the school is expected to announce its discipline after the holiday break.
USA TODAY High School Sports will have more on this story as it develops.