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Failure to report child sexual abuse charges filed against coach

Even though high schools and universities have policies against hazing, it still occurs in some schools. In one case that occurred in December, members of a sports team allegedly raped four Tennessee high school basketball players with a pool cue in a hazing incident. Prosecutors claim that the team's coach knew about the rapes, but he failed to report them. Recently, a grand jury indicted the man on four counts of failure to report child sexual abuse.

Reports indicate that the four freshman players were at a cabin with the rest of the team. They were held down by two team members while the third, who is now 18 years old, used a pool cue to rape the boys. One of the boys suffered a ruptured bladder during the assault and required several days of hospitalization.

The high school's athletic director was also charged, but he entered into a plea bargain with authorities. His sentence consists of a class and community service. The coach, however, was charged with four class-A misdemeanors, which each carry a possible maximum sentence in jail of 11 months and 29 days in Tennessee.

Many people take the failure to report child sexual abuse seriously, but fortunately, the coach is not going to be tried in the court of public opinion. Just like anyone else, he is entitled to the presumption of innocence. Even if the students charged with the rape of the four freshman are convicted and the athletic director took a deal, it does not mean that the coach is guilty. Before any sentenced can be handed down against him, prosecutors will have to prove to the court beyond a reasonable doubt that he knew about the rapes and failed to report them.

Source:, "Tenn. coach indicted for failing to report sexual abuse in hazing incident", May 18, 2016

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