The situation surrounding the Ooltewah High boys basketball team in Tennessee continues to get more dire, with details from a leaked indictment now revealing the full impact of three teenagers’ actions against a now-former teammate.
The sealed indictment of the case against three juvenile defendants in the case was leaked to ESPN’s Outside the Lines following Thursday’s appearance by two basketball coaches, Ooltewah athletic director Jesse Nayadley and Hamilton County superintendent Rick Smith in front of a juvenile court judge in Chattanooga on charges that they failed to report the alleged rape and assault by three teenagers against their underclassman teammate. Among other details, including the sleeping arrangements in the Gatlinburg, Tenn., cabin for both the coaches and players, the indictment reveals the following chilling details.
Please beware, the following excerpt contains details that may be upsetting for some to read:
Hamilton County District Attorney General Neal Pinkston told ESPN that the coaches found a 15-year-old freshman player covered in blood, urine and feces.
According to the police report of the incident, two 16-year-old sophomores and a 17-year-old senior member of the team had locked the door to a downstairs bedroom and overpowered the freshman, wrestling him onto the bed.
All three of the teens admitted to their roles in the attack, according to the report.
One of the 16-year-olds told police that he held his freshman teammate down on the bed by lying across his back, while the other 16-year-old held down his teammate by the hips.
The 17-year-old then pressed a pool cue against the freshman’s clothing with so much force that it broke through the teen’s clothing and penetrated his rectum, according to the police report.
The 17-year-old told an investigating officer that he “accidentally” used too much force and later described the alleged assault as “horseplay.”
While the act itself is horrifying, the response of both suspended Ooltewah basketball coach Andre Montgomery and assistant coach Karl Williams was equally disturbing: Neither called police, instead waiting five hours before the incident was reported by personnel at a nearby medical center.
As additional details have leaked out, the pressure has continued to mount against Ooltewah officials. It reached a head Thursday evening, when Smith agreed to step down from his position as superintendent because of the growing din of criticism related to how the incident has been handled. More specifically, Smith allowed the Ooltewah team to continue competing at the Gatlinburg tournament despite being notified of the incident. Smith agreed to resign once the district agreed to a buyout of the remainder of his contract.
Meanwhile, the teens themselves are awaiting a trial on charges of rape and aggravated sexual assault in a juvenile court at a future date. Smith’s replacement was not immediately announced Thursday night, nor was it clear whether Nayadley and the suspended coaches planned to plead guilty to the charges against them at a preliminary hearing scheduled for Feb. 15.