CHANDLER, Ariz. - Another alleged victim of sexual assault and hazing connected to the Hamilton High School football team has filed a notice of claim with the Chandler Unified School District.
The family of the victim is asking for $10 million in damages. A district spokesperson confirmed the notice was received on Sept. 7.
According to the notice filed by the family's attorney, John Torgenson, the alleged sexual assault happened around Jan. 10, 2017, during a class designated for offseason training for football.
WARNING: This story contains details of alleged sexual assault. Reader discretion is advised.
"He was just going, trying to be part of this football team, you know, high school is tough as it is," Torgenson said. "And then to have this happen on your very first day?"
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The family alleges as their student entered the Hamilton locker room, he was "immediately bombarded" with "verbal abuse."
According to details laid out in the claim, as he changed into his workout clothes, the student was surrounded by varsity football players yelling, "fresh meat."
From there, the claim alleges the student was held down as his ankles were grabbed and boxers removed. Other players, according to the claim, then started grabbing his buttocks and touching his genitals.
The claim stated that the alleged assault continued for roughly three minutes and included fingers and "another foreign object" being inserted into the student's anus.
"Based on what he told us that hundreds of students may have seen the video," Torgenson said. "This was absolutely humiliating for him."
Several players recorded the assault, the filed claim says, posting videos in Snapchat stories, viewable by other students on the social media platform for 24 hours.
According to the documents, the student did not report the assault "out of shame, fear and embarrassment." The paperwork claims he failed several of his classes.
The mother of the student, according to the filed claim, first found out in April about the alleged assault via a phone call from the Chandler Police Department. Detectives revealed her son may have been a victim of sexual assault at Hamilton High School.
The student's mother met with head coach Steve Belles in "disbelief" that the school would "allow such travesties to befall her son," according to the notice. The paperwork said she was told that the school would follow up by interviewing a student. The notice claims that never happened.
According to the filed document, when she and her son met with the district's assistant superintendent of secondary education, Dr. Craig Gilbert, in late April about a transfer, he questioned them extensively and didn't immediately grant the transfer.
The paperwork also alleged that the victim suffered harassment at school.
A teacher questioned the student about the incident asking "Why did you and your family go to the district office?" in front of the class, the claim said.
The filed notice of claim also alleges the student was subjected to threats on social media calling him a "snitch."
This latest victim joins five others who have filed claims against the school district, claiming school officials were aware of sexual assault incidents happening among members of the varsity football team, but did not report it to police.
Attorney Daniel Raynak is representing the first five victims and has filed separate claims totaling $34 million in damages.
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