Documents shed new light on Carmel assault investigation


Sandra Chapman/13 Investigates

Carmel - There is new information in the investigation that led to four Carmel basketball players being charged for alleged assaults on younger students.

The random release of documents comes at the end of a week that brought misdemeanor charges against four senior basketball players and a public uproar over the handling of the case.

Still, the district refuses to disclose its findings into an alleged sexual assault on a team bus and similar incidents in a school locker room.

"If you read the federal regulations, which I've sent out here in some detail, in highly publicized cases where people know the identity of students, we have virtually no discretion except to hold student records for privacy purposes," said David Day, Carmel Clay School attorney.

But it's clear the district had a serious issue on its hands based on a series of emails sent on high alert just two days after 13 Investigates broke the story of the criminal investigation February 22nd.

At one point the superintendent, Jeff Swensson, told Principal John Williams, "We've got what might be called a 'learnable moment' on our hands."

The Director of Student Services sent Swensson a web version of our 13 Investigates report on the partial release and denial of records by the Carmel Police. That same day the district and its insurance company exchanged high alert emails on the incident.

A Claims Specialists wrote, "If you are reluctant to release the names of the parties involved that is probably okay at this time. What we need to review (are) coverages available to the school by the insurance policy...(and the) allegations of what actually happened."

As for specifying the $2.2 million in damages in the tort claim, attorney Robert Turner said, "No coach or other adult staff member remains in the locker room with players before or after practices. There is simply no protection provided for young players from older student players. There is simply no supervision whatsoever."

Turner adds that there has been a lengthy history of sexual abuse and bullying by students in the district.

View the documents:

Lawyer letter

Superintendent Swensson e-mail

Tort claim

Lori Hood e-mail

Superintendent Swensson letter

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