New documents reveal possible cover up of hazing at Hamilton High

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New police documents reveal police believe officials at Hamilton High School tried to cover up sexual assaults in the football program. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) New police documents reveal police believe officials at Hamilton High School tried to cover up sexual assaults in the football program. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
According to police, former head football coach Steve Belles was aware of specific sex acts taking place in the Hamilton High locker room between players at least as early as the 2015–2016 season. (Source: Facebook) According to police, former head football coach Steve Belles was aware of specific sex acts taking place in the Hamilton High locker room between players at least as early as the 2015–2016 season. (Source: Facebook)
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)
Notices of claims have been filed by Phoenix attorney Daniel Raynak on behalf of five of the victims asking for tens of millions of dollars in damages. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Notices of claims have been filed by Phoenix attorney Daniel Raynak on behalf of five of the victims asking for tens of millions of dollars in damages. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
CHANDLER, AZ (3TV/CBS 5/AP) -

The Chandler Police Department has confirmed it is working with a sixth victim in the Hamilton High School sex hazing case that rocked the school and top-ranked football program.

Notices of claims have been filed by Phoenix attorney Daniel Raynak on behalf of five of the victims asking for tens of millions of dollars in damages. The claims allege school officials were aware of the assaults and did not report them to police.

[RELATED: Another victim's family plans to sue Chandler district in hazing case]

On Monday, 3TV/CBS 5 got a hold of a recently unsealed police document in the case that paints a disturbing picture of the hazing scandal.

[SPECIAL SECTION: Hamilton High School hazing case]

“I knew it was bad. I didn't know it was this bad. And what I really didn't know is how much others knew, the administration, the football coaches etc., knew and just didn't do anything about it,” said Raynak.

According to police, former head football coach Steve Belles was aware of specific sex acts taking place in the Hamilton High locker room between players at least as early as the 2015–2016 season.

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

The report details a number of instances since 2015, with multiple witness accounts, of Belles warning his players to stop the sex assaults.

The parents of two boys told police that at one of the team meetings early in the 2016 season, Belles gave his warning and then called the kids as “a bunch of Sandusky's,” referring to the former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky, convicted of sex crimes with minors.

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

Those accounts contradicted what Belles told investigators. During a police interview, Belles said he knew nothing about initiations, hazing, assaults or sexual assaults, according to the police reports.

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

Records also indicate that when Principal Ken James and Athletic Director Shawn Rustad received a call from a woman in January 2017 about the sex hazing, they never contacted police, but did their own investigation. But what they told police about their interviews with at least four students did not match up with what at least one of the students told police, that he disclosed to those administrators that he had been held down and his clothes removed.

[READ MORE: Charge recommended against Hamilton High athletic director in hazing case]

According to the report, a search warrant was served on the Chandler Unified School District for all school records for students involved in the investigation.  Police found no documentation of any discipline or note related to the case. The conclusion made by police was that either administrators violated district policy by failing to create the required records or they were destroyed or not kept as per Arizona law.

Chandler police have asked that charges be filed against Belles, James and Rustad. The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office has not yet made a charging decision.

Belles was removed as head coach but remains on campus in his teaching capacity. James and Rustad have maintained their positions as well. 

MORE STORIES ON HAZING INVESTIGATION:

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Donna RossiEmmy Award-winning reporter Donna Rossi joined CBS 5 News in September 1994.

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Donna Rossi

In that time, Donna has covered some of the most high-profile stories in the Valley and across the state. Donna's experience as a four-year veteran of the Phoenix Police Department gives her a keen sense of crime and court stories. She offered gavel to gavel coverage of the 1999 sleepwalking murder trial of Scott Falater, and the trial and conviction of retired Catholic Bishop Thomas O'Brien for a fatal hit and run accident. She also spent 2 straight weeks in northeastern Arizona in the summer of 2011 covering the Wallow Fire, the largest wildfire in Arizona history.

Donna's reputation as a fair and accurate journalist has earned her the respect of her colleagues and community. Her talent as a reporter has earned her more than a dozen Arizona Associated Press Awards and five Emmy statue.

Donna previously worked as an anchor and reporter in Tucson and got her start in broadcast journalism in Flagstaff. Donna is a past president of the Rocky Mountain Southwest Chapter of the National Academy of Arts and Sciences and currently serves on the NATAS board. She is a member of IFP/Phoenix, a non-profit organization of local film and documentary makers.

Donna was born in New York and moved to the Valley with her family when she was 9 years old. She is a graduate of Maryvale High School and attended Arizona State University. She graduated cum laude from Northern Arizona University.

In her free time, Donna enjoys boating on Bartlett Lake, all forms of music and theatre. Donna frequently donates her time to speak to community organizations and emcee their events. She is a past board member of DUET, a non-profit which helps promote health and well-being for older adults. Donna also loves donating her time to youth organizations and groups who work to secure and safeguard human rights.

On Oct. 17, 2015, Donna was honored for her amazing work over the years. The Rocky Mountain Chapter of the National Academy of Televisions Arts and Sciences inducted her into its Silver Circle. It's one of the organization's most prestigious honors for which only a few candidates are selected each year.

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