Five alleged victims from the Hamilton High School hazing case have filed a lawsuit against the district, school, former staff members, accused abusers and their parents.
The lawsuit was filed Tuesday evening and claims multiple staff members who were employed by the school in Chandler during the hazing incidents had knowledge of the sexual assaults, abuse and other hazing events but "conspired to make no report of such conduct to the proper authorities, or to take any action to prevent further attacks, or to punish the perpetrators or to otherwise protect the minor plaintiffs."
[SPECIAL SECTION: Hamilton High School hazing case]
The former staff members listed as defendants in the lawsuit are:Steve Belles, former head coach and teacher. Manuel Palomarez, former assistant coach and teacher. Shawn Rustad, former athletic director and teacher. Ken James, former principal.
The Chandler Unified School District and Hamilton High School are also being sued, along with several alleged abusers who are former or current players on the football team and their parents.
In February 2018, the Maricopa County Attorney's Office said there was not enough evidence to charge the principal, athletic director or head football coach with any crime related to not reporting the alleged abuse although the Chandler Police Department recommended charges against the officials be filed.
[ORIGINAL STORY: 3 teens formally charged in Hamilton High School hazing incident]
Three teens were formally charged in the hazing case but two of the teens have since had their cases resolved and the outcome of those cases has been sealed. The last teen, Nathanial Thomas, is still facing charges as an adult.
The lawsuit demands a jury trial and seeks an unspecified amount in compensatory damages including medical expenses, court expenses and other punitive damages.
When asked for comment on the filed lawsuit, a representative for the Chandler Unified School District said: "we don't comment on pending litigation."
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