County Attorney says he can't make a final decision yet on Hamilton High sex hazing charges

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(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
CHANDLER, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

Nearly eight months after Chandler police launched an investigation into allegations of sexual abuse and hazing within Hamilton High School's football team, the Maricopa County Attorney said Tuesday he is still not ready to make a charging decision against the school administrators linked to the case.

County Attorney Bill Montgomery said he is convinced other players were victimized and said investigators needed more evidence to corroborate certain claims, although he did not go into specifics.

[SPECIAL SECTION: Hamilton High School Hazing Case]

So far, six players have come forward and said they were abused by teammates.

"I'm asking people to cooperate and come forward and share information," he said Tuesday. "We know that there are individuals who have information, that were victimized, who saw what happened, who have yet to come forward. We need their assistance and need the parents of the kids to assist them too."

The County Attorney's Office passed out fliers at a community meeting in Chandler with tips on ways to discuss sexual abuse with teens. A copy of the flier is attached below.

[RELATED: Parents call a meeting to respond to Hamilton hazing scandal]

Most of the chairs in the large church meeting room were empty, underscoring a problem that Montgomery alluded to: the problem for prosecutors isn't just convincing teens to talk -- it may be finding parents willing to listen.

Buzz Call, a Chandler resident who attended the meeting but does not have a child at Hamilton High, was struck by the attendance.

[RELATED: Sixth Hamilton High football player files claim in sex hazing scandal; asks for $10 million]

"If my student was there, I would have gotten everybody in the neighborhood rallied around," he said. "This is important, and I'm very surprised by the lack of interest shown here by the parents."

Prosecutors have charged three teens with sexual assault, aggravated assault and kidnapping in connection with the case.

Chandler police also recommended charges against the school's former principal, athletic director and head football coach, saying the men knew about rumors of the sexual hazing but failed to report them to police.

[RELATED: New documents reveal possible cover-up of hazing at Hamilton High]

Montgomery said prosecutors are still weighing charges, and need more information from witnesses.

"I have a concern for people who have information, or know the teens who have information and for one reason or another, they're not cooperating with the investigation," Montgomery said. "I think it is very misguided and it is very short-sighted to not help their children provide the information we need to address the entirety of the allegations that have been made."

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Derek StaahlDerek Staahl is an Emmy Award-winning reporter and fill-in anchor who loves covering stories that matter most to Arizona families.

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Derek Staahl

This once-uncompromising "California guy" got his first taste of Arizona in 2015 while covering spring training baseball for his former station. The trip spanned just three days, but Derek quickly decided Phoenix should be his next address. He joined CBS 5 and 3TV four months later, in August 2015. Before packing his bags for the Valley of the Sun, Derek spent nearly four years at XETV in San Diego, where he was promoted to Weekend Anchor and Investigative Reporter. Derek chaired the Saturday and Sunday 10 p.m. newscasts, which regularly earned the station's highest ratings for a news program each week. Derek’s investigative reporting efforts into the Mayor Bob Filner scandal in 2013 sparked a "governance crisis" for the city of San Diego and was profiled by the region’s top newspaper. Derek broke into the news business at WKOW-TV in Madison, WI. He wrote, shot, edited, and presented stories during the week, and produced newscasts on the weekends. By the end of his stint, he was promoted to part-time anchor on WKOW’s sister station, WMSN. Derek was born in Los Angeles and was named the “Undergraduate Broadcast Journalism Student of the Year” in his graduating class at USC. He also played quads in the school’s famous drumline. When not reporting the news, Derek enjoys playing drumset, sand volleyball, and baseball.

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