Three high school basketball players in Ooltewah, Tennessee, have been charged with rape and assault while their alleged victim remains hospitalized with extensive injuries.
On Dec. 22, three basketball players from Ooltewah High School competing in the Smoky Mountain Classic basketball tournament allegedly assaulted their freshman teammate while staying the night in a rental cabin. The team’s coach rushed the youth to the hospital, where he had to have emergency surgery, according to WRCB.
“It was a horrific incident,” a family member of the victim told the station. “His surgery went well, but he has a long road to recovery.”
Another family member told The Chattanoogan that the boy had been “sodomized” with a foreign object.
“He is having nightmares,” the family member said. “He has stated that he thought that he was going to die as a result of the assault. In addition, once he is finally discharged he has to wear a catheter and colostomy bag for at least two weeks or longer.”
At least two of the three suspects are seniors at the high school, according to WHAS. The three suspects are no longer on the team, which has continued to play in the “Best of Preps” basketball tournament despite the incident. In a statement, OHS athletic director Jesse Nayadley said a punishment for the students would be determined after the holidays.