Charge recommended against Hamilton High athletic director in hazing case

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The athletic director for Hamilton High School could face legal action in connection to the reported hazing incidents involving the football team. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) The athletic director for Hamilton High School could face legal action in connection to the reported hazing incidents involving the football team. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Principal Ken James could face charges in connection to what he did and didn't know about the hazing allegations. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Principal Ken James could face charges in connection to what he did and didn't know about the hazing allegations. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
CHANDLER, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

The Chandler Police Department announced on Thursday they are recommending a charge against the athletic director of Hamilton High School in connection with alleged hazing incidents.

Police said Shawn Rustad was in violation of one count of failure to report child abuse after learning the school's football players were being "picked on or harassed" in the locker room.

The physical and sexual assaults happened between fall of 2016 and January of 2017, police said. Rustad became aware of the allegations in January when he received a voice mail about it, police paperwork said.

Rustad conducted four interviews with players on the team but didn't tell their parents, police said. Three of the victims said to Rustad they were assaulted or harassed and he told football head coach Steve Belles.

Rustad then told details about players pulling each others' shorts down to a victim's parent.

However, police said he never reported the incident to Chandler police or the on-campus school resource officer.

Rustad, who is also the assistant principal, isn't the only one who could face legal action.

Police also recommended charges against Belles and the school's principal, Ken James.

[READ MORE: Hamilton High hazing allegations: Police recommend charges against former football coach, principal]

Belles was replaced as head coach and reassigned in May after allegations of sexual assault surfaced against several of his players.

Earlier this year, several Hamilton High School football players were busted for alleged hazing. The multiple physical and sexual assaults took place between the fall of 2016 and January of 2017, investigators said.

One 17-year-old Hamilton High School student, Nathaniel William Thomas, was charged as an adult. He pleaded not guilty.

[READ MORE: Judge: Suspect in Hamilton HS hazing being released from jail]

In addition, two 16-year-olds were charged in juvenile court.

[READ MORE: 3 teens formally charged in Hamilton High School hazing incident (March 30)]

[GRAPHIC CONTENT: Email sent to CUSD officials about hazing allegations]

James and Rustad remain at the school at their respective positions.

On Wednesday, three of the victims' families said they plan to sue Chandler Unified School District for a combined total of $20 million.

The notice of claims cites "negligent hiring and negligent supervision."

[READ MORE: 3 families of alleged hazing victims plan to sue Chandler school district for $20 million]

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