Attorney: Alleged victim in Carmel assaults was violated


Chris Proffitt/Eyewitness News

Hamilton County - For the first time, the attorney of one of the alleged victims in the Carmel High School assaults case is describing the boy's injuries.

The parents of one of the three victims spoke to the media Wednesday to clear up what their attorney, Robert Turner, refers to as misconceptions regarding recent developments in the case.

The story that the 14-year-old victim's parents tell is shocking. They claim coaches ignored warnings of player abuse and criminal behavior that go as far as child molesting, and not the misdemeanors that four senior members of the team are now charged with. It was their son's alleged abuse that began the investigation, and his father recalls the day he was told.

"I can't even get into details cause even now I struggle with it," said the boy's father, fighting back tears.

Police, prosecutors and school officials never revealed the nature of the allegations: attacks and injuries suffered by three freshman basketball players on a bus returning from a game and in a locker room. But on Wednesday, the family's attorney, filled in the blanks.

"A physical grabbing, confinement to the point where he was held down. Removal of clothing," said Robert Turner, the family's attorney.

Then, according to Turner, the victim was anally penetrated. Prosecutors never filed sex assault charges that Turner says rose to a felony level.

The boy's parents and attorney also said that the 14-year-old was assaulted more than twice as previously reported and that the teen told a coach but that nothing was done. The parents say that was before February 16th, the date that Carmel High School administrators say they became aware of the incidents.

"What's going to happen in that school? What's going to change in that school? Because too many kids have been affected by this and I think we're missing that point," said the boy's mother.

With their son now attending another school while getting counseling, they say they're surprised at the charges filed in the case, while adding that they're proud of their son for coming forward.

"If he hadn't done what he's done, these changes coming forward never would have happened and this would have continued," said the boy's father.

Eyewitness News asked Hamilton County Prosecutor Sonia Leerkamp about the victim's claim that he notified the coach immediately after the alleged assault.

"I was aware of a portion of the information, but not in the detail. If they have information they need to come in and talk to me," she said.

Case background

Four members of the Carmel basketball team were arrested and charged with several misdemeanor counts for assaults on three younger team members between November and January. Four of the teams coaches were also replaced this week as a result of the alleged assaults.

Prosecutors won't reveal the nature of the attacks or the injuries suffered. They did say on Monday in announcing the charges, that the assaults went beyond hazing of younger team members. An attorney for one of the victims also says the attacks went beyond hazing.

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