CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) — Authorities have dropped charges against a Tennessee assistant high school basketball coach accused of failing to report alleged child sexual abuse of players by teammates.
An order of dismissal regarding Ooltewah High School assistant Karl Williams was filed Wednesday in Hamilton County. Prosecutors had asked a judge to drop the charges based on Williams' status as a volunteer coach and the fact that he received no training about the state law that requires officials to report any allegations of sexual abuse in the jurisdiction where the child lives.
The (Chattanooga) Times-Free Press first reported the news.
Gatlinburg police have charged three Ooltewah High players in juvenile court with the aggravated rape of one teammate. Police say the boy required emergency surgery after they held him down and assaulted him with a pool cue at a Gatlinburg cabin Dec. 22 while Ooltewah's team was participating in a holiday tournament.
The Hamilton County district attorney's office says four players were "subjected to apparent sexual assault" during that trip out of town.
Williams, head coach Karl Montgomery and athletic director Allard Nayadley were charged in January with failing to report child sexual abuse. Montgomery was indicted last week on four Class A misdemeanor counts. Nayadley has agreed to a pretrial diversion program that includes 10 hours of community service and a class on mandatory reporting. If Nayadley complies with the terms of the agreement, the case can be removed from his record after six months. Tennessee's mandatory reporting law requires school officials to report any suspected child sexual abuse to the state Department of Children's Services, to the sheriff or police chief where the children reside or to the juvenile court with jurisdiction over them. The Ooltewah High School officials instead took the child to a hospital and contacted police in Sevier County, where the alleged incident took place.
Melydia Clewell, a spokeswoman for the Hamilton County district attorney's office, said authorities had no information that Williams "had any idea he was supposed to do anything beyond inform the police."