News conference on Carmel bus assault to be held Monday

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Carmel - A joint news conference about possible charges against some members of the Carmel High School boys' basketball team will be held Monday, Eyewitness News has learned.

The Hamilton and Hendricks County prosecutors will hold the news conference at 1:00 pm Monday.

Prosecutors will announce whether they intend to file charges against three Carmel senior basketball players accused of assaulting two freshman players on a school bus while the team returned from an away game in Terre Haute in January.

The incident has been described as a hazing ritual and a sexual assault. The case came to light after doctors who examined one of the victims filed a report with authorities, as required by law when they suspect child abuse.

The announcement of possible criminal charges follows confidential grand jury proceedings. Charges could include criminal confinement, criminal deviate conduct and battery. All three of the accused are 18 years old or older.

Meanwhile, attorneys representing Carmel-Clay Schools released a letter Thursday.

The district says it's finishing its review of the alleged bullying incident four months after it happened and will release records pertaining to the investigation next Friday.

It isn't clear what details will be released. Thus far, authorities have not been forthcoming with details about the case, issuing heavily redacted reports.

Robert Turner, an attorney representing one of the alleged victims, said his client doesn't want to destroy the character or careers of the accused students, but said there is a clear need for improved policies and supervision by Carmel-Clay Schools to prevent these incidents from happening in the future.

"Justice is to ensure that this doesn't happen again and the appropriate people are held responsible for what did happen," said Turner. "They've never screamed for punishment of these young people, but they did call for the supervision of the young people."

Turner says more than Monday's announcement, his client is most concerned with what he calls a larger pattern of hazing at the high school.

"The punishment wasn't the primary issue. The correction, the supervision, the prevention in the future is the primary issue," Turner said.  "The bigger concern is these were children in a school setting who were supposed to be supervised and protected."

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