CHANDLER, Ariz. - A lawsuit on behalf of five alleged victims in the Hamilton High School football hazing case has been filed against school administrators and parents, according to a Valley lawyer.
Attorney Daniel Raynak said he filed the suit Tuesday representing five alleged victims, all minors, and their parents.
The civil action lawsuit is demanding a jury trial and names several staff, including former principal Ken James, former athletic director Shawn Rustad and former head coach Steve Belles. The Chandler Unified School District and Hamilton High School are also being sued, as well as the alleged abusers, who are also minors, and their parents.
The suit claims that over the period of two years, the five minors were victims of sexual, physical and emotional abuse, and that the school administrators conspired to make no report to the proper authorities and failed to take any action to prevent further attacks or to punish the perpetrators.
On Feb. 14, County Attornery Bill Montgomery said there was not enough evidence to charge James, Rustad or Belles and announced that his office would not be filing a case.
In March of 2017, six football players were arrested in connection with what police called a hazing initiation. According to court documents, members of Hamilton High School’s football team allegedly participated in sexual hazing that victims claim took place on school grounds between September 2015 and January 2017.
So far, six alleged victims have come forward to police.
Though there is no specific amount of money sought in the lawsuit, Raynak previously submitted notice of claims on behalf of the five alleged victims and their families in 2017, totaling at least $30 million against the school district. Four families were seeking $7 million, and one was seeking $6 million.