Fifth victim comes forward in Hamilton hazing case

Chandler police confirm a fifth notice of claim has been filed in the alleged hazing abuse at Hamilton High School.

This story was originally published August 18, 2017.

PHOENIX - The Chandler Police Department has confirmed a fifth victim is now part of an ongoing investigation into allegations of sexual assault and extreme hazing carried out in the football locker room at Hamilton High School. 

12 News first reported on Thursday that a fifth notice of claim had been filed against the Chandler Unified School district by another victim. The family of the victim is asking for $7 million and joins four other victims.

In total, the victims are seeking $34 million. 

The claims of assault came to light back in March and, at the time, police had identified four victims, but suggested there were possibly more. 

Three football players were charged for the incidents that go as far back as 2015. 

Seventeen-year-old Nathaniel Thomas has been charged as an adult and the others are being charged as juveniles. 

RELATED: School board president says 'we're trying to do the right thing' 

Chandler Police has also recommended charges for three staff members at the school: Principal Ken James, Athletic Director Shawn Rustad and former varsity head coach Steve Belles. 

Belles is not currently coaching the football team at Hamilton, but is still teaching at the school. James and Rustad remain in their positions as the district awaits a decision from the county attorney.

The Maricopa County Attorney's office will ultimately determine whether any of the men will face charges and they have yet to announce a decision. 

Police say the investigation is still ongoing and encourage anyone, including potential victims, to come forward and share information. 

© 2017 KPNX-TV


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