Ooltewah basketball coach faces criminal charges in connection with teammate rape

Ooltewah basketball coach faces criminal charges in connection with teammate rape

May 18th, 2016 by Kendi A. Rainwater in Local Regional News

Staff Photo by Dan Henry / The Chattanooga Times Free Press- 2/15/16. Ooltewah High School head basketball coach Andre "Tank" Montgomery rubs his eye during a brief intermission from his preliminary hearing in Hamilton County Juvenile Court on February 15, 2016. Hamilton County District Attorney Neal Pinkston charged head coach Andre "Tank" Montgomery, assistant coach Karl Williams and Athletic Director Allard "Jesse" Nayadley with failing to report child abuse or suspected child sexual abuse in connection with the rape of an Ooltewah High School freshman by his basketball teammates Dec. 22, 2015.

Photo by Dan Henry /Times Free Press.

The Hamilton County Grand Jury has indicted Ooltewah High School's head basketball coach Andre "Tank" Montgomery today for failing to report child sexual abuse in connection with the rape of an Ooltewah High School freshman, allegedly by three of his basketball teammates.

Failure to report child sexual abuse is a class A misdemeanor and carries a sentence of up to 11 months, 29 days behind bars, according to a spokesperson for the Hamilton County district attorney. 

Montgomery was chaperoning the boy's basketball team just days before Christmas at a rental cabin in Gatlinburg, Tenn., when a 15-year-old player was injured so severely he had to be rushed to the hospital for emergency surgery.

In February, Hamilton County Juvenile Court Judge Rob Philyaw sent the charges of failing to report child sexual abuse or suspected child sexual abuse facing Montgomery,  Ooltewah High School assistant coach Karl Williams and the school's Athletic Director Allard "Jesse" Nayadley to the grand jury. 

The charge facing Williams remains pending before the grand jury, according to a Hamilton County Criminal Court Clerk. 

During this preliminary hearing, Philyaw said he had reasonable grounds to determine that a sexual assault occurred during the team's trip to Gatlinburg, and that it was not reported to the Department of Children's Services, as required by law.

Montgomery's attorney, Curtis Bowe, said during this preliminary hearing that testimony made it clear Montgomery was helpful during the investigation and didn't try to cover up the incident. 

Bowe did not immediately return request for comment about this charge Wednesday afternoon.

Montgomery has been on an unpaid suspension from the Hamilton County Department of Education since January, after he was charged by Hamilton County District Attorney Neal Pinkston.  

Pinkston's office declined to comment Wednesday on the Hamilton County Grand Jury's decision, saying it is against the law to comment on pending cases.

Just last week, Nayadley appeared before Hamilton County Criminal Court Judge Tom Greenholtz and accepted a pre-trial diversion.  This means he forfeited his right for the charge against him to be heard by the grand jury, and after a period of 180 days the charge can be thrown out and his criminal record wiped clean if he completes 10 hours of community service and attends a class on mandatory reporting of abuse.

 


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