Three high school basketball players from Tennessee are facing charges of aggravated rape and aggravated assault after allegedly attacking another teammate. Meanwhile, the school’s superintendent has canceled the remainder of the boys’ varsity basketball team season so a thorough investigation can be conducted.
The incident happened in a cabin on December 22 and involved the three older suspects and a 15-year-old freshmen. According to the victim’s grandmother, her grandson was pinned down by two of the suspects while the third ripped off the boy’s clothes and violently raped him with a pool stick.
The injuries were so severe the victim had to be driven to a local hospital by the team’s coach. He was later transferred to another hospital in Knoxville to undergo emergency surgery. He’s currently recovering.
As a result of the attack, the three suspects have all been kicked off the team, but the victim’s grandmother says that’s not enough. She wants them permanently expelled from the school, and she’s prepared to do whatever she must to make this happen.
“Legal actions will be taken against all negligent parties,” she threatened in a statement.
Meanwhile, school administrators are still grappling with how exactly to handle the situation.
Superintendent Rick Smith called the whole thing a “tragedy” before canceling the remainder of the basketball season. Board Chairman Jonathan Welch added that he couldn’t even put into words how the assault has affected the community. “Tragic, horrific, none describe it,” he said.
But there are some families who say these assaults have been going on for months and that school officials have been largely ignoring them. They are accusing the school over trying to cover up what the local D.A.’s office calls “an ongoing pattern of assaults allegedly committed under the guise of hazing.”
The D.A.’s office says it is now investigating more reports made by other freshmen who say they assaulted by older teammates prior to the incident in December.
The accused teens are scheduled to appear in court on January 26.