Charges recommended against Hamilton principal, former coach as hazing investigation widens

Chandler police have recommended additional charges for principal Ken James and former football coach Steve Belles of Hamilton High School in connection to the hazing allegations involving football players.

This story was originally published July 24, 2017.

If you have any information in the case that you would like to share with us, you can call the 12 News tip line at 602-444-1212 or email connect@12news.com. You can remain anonymous. 

PHOENIX - The Chandler Police Department has confirmed exclusively to 12 News it has recommended charges for several individuals connected to the allegations of hazing within the Hamilton High School football program.

12 News has learned principal Ken James former head coach Steve Belles and are among those possibly facing charges.

Chandler Police Department submitted a criminal complaint to the Maricopa County Attorney's Office last Friday.

Belles was re-assigned after the scandal broke in March where six football players were arrested and three were charged. Seventeen-year-old Nathaniel Thomas has been charged as an adult.

The Maricopa County Attorney's Office has provided this statement to 12 News: 


"The Maricopa County’s Attorney’s Office can confirm that we have received a submittal from the Chandler Police Department to review for possible charging. The submittal covers additional individuals linked to the on-going investigation of assaults at Hamilton High School involving the football program. As in any criminal case, we will continue to partner with law enforcement to assess the reasonable likelihood of conviction in a charging decision. The investigation continues into conduct that is well beyond any legitimate activity involved in a football program. Anyone who was subjected to hazing activities at Hamilton High School are encouraged to notify the Chandler Police Department."

Victims claim they were subjected to various forms of assault inside the school's football locker room and some of the incidents were captured on cell phone video and shared on social media. 

The investigation into the incidents is ongoing and any additional victims are urged to contact the Chandler Police Department. 

MARCH 2017: Teens arrested in Hamilton HS football hazing investigation

APRIL 2017: Emails suggest ongoing hazing within Hamilton HS football program

MAY 2017: Ousted Hamilton High coach says he didn't know about hazing

© 2017 KPNX-TV


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