Adults Charged with Failing to Report Child Sexual Abuse during Ooltewah High School Basketball Incident
January 14, 2016
Hamilton County District Attorney General Neal Pinkston filed a criminal complaint against three people associated with Ooltewah High School for Failure to Report Child Sexual Abuse of four victims who are players on the Ooltewah High School boys’ basketball team.
Juvenile Court Judge Robert Philyaw issued criminal summonses in lieu of arrest for OHS Assistant Principal/Athletic Director Allard J. Nayadley, OHS boys’ basketball coach Andre Montgomery, and assistant coach Karl Williams. Under Tennessee's mandatory reporting law, all three are required to report any suspected child sexual abuse to the state Department of Children’s Services, the sheriff of the county in which the children reside, the police chief of the municipality in which the children reside, or the juvenile court judge with jurisdiction over the child.
An investigator from the DA’s Office and a HCSO detective are working to determine the scope of criminal activity that took place this school year related to assaults committed by older members of the Ooltewah boys’ basketball team against freshmen players. Charges against three players have already been filed in Sevier County and additional charges are expected to be filed in Hamilton County.
Additionally, we are investigating allegations of an ingrained culture of violence among the football and basketball teams at OHS reaching back several years. As we interview potential victims who are former OHS players, if the evidence is sufficient to meet the state’s legal burden of proof, charges will be filed for those incidents as well.
If anyone has knowledge of any crimes related to this investigation, they should call the Hamilton County District Attorney’s Office at 423-209-7400.
General Pinkston filed a motion in Juvenile Court requesting all filings in this case be made public due to the overwhelming public interest in this case. Judge Philyaw approved the motion which means our filings are available at Juvenile Court.
At this time, our office can not release any further information, as prohibited by the Tennessee Supreme Court Rules of Professional Responsibility, Rule 3.8 (Special Duties of Prosecutors) which reads in pertinent part:
(f) except for statements that are necessary to inform the public of the nature and extent of the prosecutor's action and that serve a legitimate law enforcement purpose, shall refrain from making extrajudicial comments that have a substantial likelihood of heightening public condemnation of the accused and exercise reasonable care to prevent employees of the prosecutor's office from making an extrajudicial statement that the prosecutor would be prohibited from making under RPC 3.6 or this Rule; and discourage investigators, law enforcement personnel, and other persons assisting or associated with the prosecutor in a criminal matter from making an extrajudicial statement that the prosecutor would be prohibited from making under RPC 3.6 or this Rule.
In accordance with this rule, General Pinkston has asked the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office to also refrain from public comment.