GATLINBURG, Tenn. (Wire reports) — Three high school basketball players in Tennessee have been charged with raping and assaulting a freshman teammate in an apparent hazing incident, officials said.
Gatlinburg Police said in a statement that the players were charged Monday in the incident, which occurred last week at a rental cabin.
The statement said staff at LeConte Medical Center called officers Dec. 23 after a young man who had been assaulted was brought there by his basketball coach.
The victim was sent to University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville, where he underwent surgery due to his extensive injuries, the statement said.
Police say the 15-year-old boy was in Gatlinburg for a tournament with teammates from Ooltewah High School in Hamilton County.
Ooltewah High School Athletic Director Jesse Nayadley told the Chattanooga Times Free Press that the three older players involved in the apparent hazing incident have been dismissed from the team.
“We can’t give names because they’re under 18 years of age, and since we’re out of school for the holidays we haven’t met yet to determine how they will be punished at school. But as far as athletically, those three young men are no longer a part of the Ooltewah basketball team,” he said.
An anonymous family member of the victim provided a statement to the Chattanoogan:
He was not given a proper exam and collapsed the following day. Once he collapsed, he was taken by ambulance to the University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville. He had to undergo emergency surgery, as his colon and bladder were ruptured. He is still in the hospital recovering at this time.
Recovery is expected to last two to three months, the Chattanoogan reported.
Police said the teammates have been charged as juveniles. Their names weren’t released.
A Gofundme account has been set up for the boy and his family. According to the page, the boy’s mother, a single parent, has to take unpaid leave from work to be with him during his recovery.
Information from The Associated Press and CNN was used in this report.