Police interview Parkview frosh alleging sexual assault by teammates

Police from South Carolina traveled to Gwinnett County on Monday to interview a Parkview High School student who was allegedly sexually assaulted by his teammates while playing in a tournament there.

The alleged victim, a freshman, filed a report with North Charleston police in July saying he was sexually assaulted by six older students in a hazing incident. Parkview has already suspended the six students for all or part of the current school year.

North Charleston Police Capt. Scott Perry confirmed the student turned in a written statement detailing the alleged assault.

Kurt Hilbert, an attorney for the freshman, said it’s possible other victims will come forward with statements to police.

Up to 16 players may have been hazed, Hilbert said. His client was staying in a room with three other underclassmen, and there were three other rooms with the same set-up.

“Two of the other victims are represented by counsel who have contacted me,” he said.

It is The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s policy to not name victims of alleged sexual assault. The accused players are not identified because criminal charges have not been filed.

“We know they entered at least three of those rooms,” Hilbert said. “We don’t know if anyone else in the other rooms were touched.”

A federal lawsuit was filed against the Hyatt Place Airport/Convention Center alleging the front desk improperly gave the upperclassmen key cars to the younger players' rooms. According to the suit, the 14-year-old seeking criminal charges was thrown onto a bed and "forcefully manhandled and wrestled down, held down, inappropriately touched over his body and assaulted."

“Similar attacks were made on other freshman team members by the upperclassmen team members,” the suit states.

Team coaches were alerted to the incident the same night, and the allegations were reported to Parkview administrators. Gwinnett County schools police conducted their own investigation and forwarded their findings to North Charleston police.

Hilbert said his client is still attending Parkview but that could change.

“His well-being is a concern of ours,” he said.

A decision whether to pursue criminal charges will be made soon, Perry said.

Attorneys for five of the upperclassmen challenged their suspensions, saying that the alleged incident did not happen during a school-related function, therefore Parkview lacked the authority to punish them.

The players were on a summer travel team operated and funded by parents in the Parkview Dugout Club.

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