Ooltewah rape case: School board files response, claims no responsibility

The exterior of Ooltewah High School photographed on Sunday, Jan. 31, 2016. (Staff photo by Maura Friedman)

The Hamilton County Board of Education should not be held liable for the rape of an Ooltewah High School freshman, according to a response filed in federal court this week.

The victim's family filed the lawsuit against the school board and three former Ooltewah High School employees in September, alleging a long and violent history of hazing and sexual abuse of male student athletes. The lawsuit accuses district and school administrators and staff of knowing abuse was taking place and failing to protect students.

But in the board's 22-page response, attorney Charles Purcell argues the board acted "in good faith without deliberate indifference to Plaintiffs' constitutional rights."

The plaintiff is a former Ooltewah High School freshman who was raped by his basketball teammates with a pool cue during a team trip to Gatlinburg, Tenn.,