The first indictment in the Ooltewah High School rape case was handed down Wednesday, as the Hamilton County Grand Jury indicted the school's head basketball coach, Andre "Tank" Montgomery, on four counts of failing to report child sexual abuse.
Montgomery was chaperoning the boys' basketball team just days before Christmas at a rental cabin in Gatlinburg, Tenn., when four boys were allegedly raped with pool sticks by three of their teammates, according to Hamilton County District Attorney Neal Pinkston. One 15-year-old was injured so severely he required emergency surgery.
According to previous court testimony, Montgomery never reported the incident to the Tennessee Department of Children's Services, as required by law.
Failure to report child sexual abuse is a Class A misdemeanor in Tennessee and carries a sentence of up to 11 months, 29 days behind bars. Montgomery is scheduled to appear before Hamilton County Criminal Court Judge Don Poole on June 3 for his arraignment, during which he is expected to plead "guilty" or "not guilty" to the charges.
If he pleads "not guilty," his case will proceed through Criminal Court and could end in a trial, settlement or be dismissed.
Montgomery's attorney, Curtis Bowe, did not return a request for comment Wednesday.
During a preliminary hearing in the case, Bowe argued that Montgomery was helpful during the investigation in Gatlinburg and didn't try to cover up the incident.
Since being charged by Pinkston in January, Montgomery has been on an unpaid suspension from the Hamilton County Department of Education.
In February, Hamilton County Juvenile Court Judge Rob Philyaw sent to the grand jury charges against Montgomery, Ooltewah High School assistant coach Karl Williams and the school's athletic director Allard "Jesse" Nayadley of failing to report child sexual abuse or suspected child sexual abuse.
The charge facing Williams remains pending, according to a Hamilton County Criminal Court Clerk.
But Nayadley's case took a different route, as he appeared before Hamilton County Criminal Court Judge Tom Greenholtz last week and accepted a pre-trial diversion. That means Nayadley agreed to skip a grand jury review and was granted pretrial diversion by Pinkston. If he completes 10 hours of community service, attends a course on reporting abuse and is well behaved, the charge will be erased from his record in 180 days.
Contact staff writer Kendi Anderson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6592. Follow on Twitter @kendi_and.