School District Blamed for TN Pool-Cue Rape

     CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (CN) — The mother of a Tennessee student-athlete claims in court that three teammates sodomized him with a pool cue, and his basketball coach never reported the sexual assault to police.
     In a lawsuit filed Friday in Eastern Tennessee Federal Court, the mother claims her son — both of whom are suing anonymously — was a victim of violent hazing at Ooltewah High School, which is run by defendant Hamilton County Schools.
     “The unchecked hazing and sexual harassment within the OHS boys’ basketball team reached a brutally violent crescendo on Dec. 22, 2015, when the team and coaches attended an out-of-town overnight tournament in Gatlinburg,” the complaint states.
     “That night, while defendant [Andre] Montgomery and Assistant Coach Williams were upstairs in the cabin, two sophomore teammates, J.B. and J.N., pinned John [Doe] face-down on a bed, and K.J. — the same student who previously had beaten John and called him ‘bitch made’ — rammed a pool cue into John, forcefully penetrating through his clothing and sodomizing John.”
     The assault perforated his rectal wall and bladder and he had to undergo emergency surgery, including removal of part of the pool cue from his bladder, the complaint states.
     K.J. was found guilty in juvenile court of committing aggravated rape and assault, while the other two perpetrators were found guilty of aggravated assault, according to the lawsuit.
     “Despite discovering the violent scene and learning of the sexual assault of one of their players, neither Coach Montgomery nor Assistant Coach Williams reported child abuse to the Department of Children’s Services or even called the police,” the complaint states, adding that a nurse at the hospital reported the assault to the Gatlinburg Police Department.
     Hamilton County Schools said in a statement published in local news reports that “providing a safe, secure environment for all of our students continues to be the top priority of our school system.”
     “Since this matter is now the subject of litigation in federal court, we cannot comment further,” the statement said.
     Montgomery and Athletic Director Jesse Nayadley, also named as a defendant, are no longer working at OHS, according to local news reports. Both were charged with failure to report child abuse, Friday’s 23-page lawsuit says.
     John Doe and his mother assert claims for Title IX violations, deliberate indifference and liability under the Tennessee Governmental Tort Liability Act. They seek punitive damages, and are represented by Edmund Schmidt III in Nashville.

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