Hamilton County Juvenile Court Judge Rob Philyaw denied motions to dismiss the charges against Ooltewah High School's head coach Andre "Tank" Montgomery, assistant coach Karl Williams, and Athletic Director Allard "Jesse" Nayadley this morning.
The three men appeared in court along with their attorneys, after being charged last week by Hamilton County District Attorney Neal Pinkston for failing to report abuse during the basketball team's trip to Gatlinburg, Tenn., just before Christmas.
Philyaw said the statutes regarding mandatory reporting of abuse are not clearly written and need to be updated, and due to the confusion between statutes he decided to schedule a preliminary hearing for the three men on Feb. 15.
Court documents say four freshman players were assaulted with pool cues and "subjected to apparent sexual assault," and one boy was rushed to the hospital for emergency surgery during the team's trip to Gatlinburg, Tenn.,
In court Thursday, Pinkston said he began to investigate this case after media reports alleged that the coaches never reported the abuse, which he found to be true.
"None of these individuals contacted law enforcement," he said.
All three attorneys, Curtis Bowe III, Lee Davis and Johnny Houston argued that only Sevier County has jurisdiction over this case, since the failure to report happened there.
Philyaw told them, according to the law, he has jurisdiction in this case since the juveniles involved are residents of Hamilton County.
Bowe, who represents Montgomery, told Philyaw that authorities in Sevier County have cleared these men of any wrongdoing, and that no facts have been presented to show that Montgomery knew of the abuse.
Davis, representing Nayadley, argued that if his client is being charged so should others school and district administrators.
"If [Nayadley] is sitting here then there should be three more benches [for other administrators,]" Davis said.
Davis told Philyaw that Nayadley was attending the tournament as a father and not a school administrator.
Near the end of the hearing, Philyaw said the law is clear and he hopes the message is spread today that every adult has an obligation to report abuse.
"The statute doesn't say telling the doctor is good enough," Philyaw said. "There are reporting requirements."
Records from Sevier County Juvenile Court state that two 16-year-olds and a 17-year-old are charged with aggravated rape and aggravated assault of a 15-year-old player who was taken to a hospital in Knoxville where doctors performed surgery to repair a ruptured bladder and colon.
They are scheduled to appear in Sevier County Juvenile Court Tuesday morning at 8:30 a.m.