EXCLUSIVE: Hamilton High whistleblower sits down for graphic interview

Posted: Updated:
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Principal Ken James, left, and ex-football coach Steve Belles, right. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5/Facebook) Principal Ken James, left, and ex-football coach Steve Belles, right. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5/Facebook)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
CHANDLER, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

Charges of sexual assault and cover-up have rocked the powerhouse football program at Hamilton High School in Chandler.

The county attorney’s office has filed criminal charges against three teens, including a 17-year-old who is being charged as an adult. Six of the victims have filed notices of claims to sue the district and others, and charges are possible pending against three school staffers. 

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

Police documents released indicate parents reported incidents of sexual hazing as far back as 2016. But none of the teachers, coaches or administrators who were aware of t the allegations, called the police.  

In February 2017, a parent, who wishes to remain anonymous sent an email to Hamilton’s campus police officer and the Assistant Superintendent of the district. And that is what finally go the police investigation rolling.

That whistleblower who exposed this scandal came forward to Arizona’s Family and agreed to talk on the agreement of anonymity. 

The whistleblower, the father of a former Hamilton High football player, said he felt compelled to speak out of frustration and disbelief.

[SPECIAL SECTION: Hamilton High School hazing case]

The whistleblower is frustrated that administrators who allegedly knew about the sex hazing have not been criminally charged by the County Attorney’s Office even though Chandler police turned over its investigation to the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office recommending charges be filed in July

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

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

There's also frustration that the Hamilton High community seems to be rallying around the football program, suspects, and not the victims.

"On two occasions my son came to me with information that led me to believe that he was afraid to go in the locker room at Hamilton," said the whistleblower. 

This father said could see the fear in his son’s eyes.  His son was not a victim or an eyewitness to the abuse but relayed stories that this father took seriously and believed to be true.

I didn't realize the depth of it or the period of time that it had allegedly been taking place.

"He came home from school and basically said, 'Dad, they got one of my friends today.' And I said, 'What do you mean they got on of your friends?' And he said, 'Some of the older players grabbed my friend, they put him on the bench, they pulled his pants down, they digitally penetrated him and basically sexually assaulted him,'" said the whistleblower.

That disclosure prompted this the whistleblower to write an email on Feb. 10, 2017.  The email was sent to Chandler Police Officer Kevin Quinn, Hamilton’s School Resource Officer, and copied to Assistant Superintendent Dr. Craig Gilbert. 

The email contained specifics things the whistleblower had been hearing over and over again, about underclassman on the team being sexually assaulted as a right of passage. In the email, the whistleblower also indicated that the sexual hazing appeared to be something that occurred on a regular basis. 

[RELATED: District issues new statement after Hamilton High football players arrested for alleged hazing]

"Let's not kid ourselves, this isn't hazing; this is sexual assault. And there are victims out there that we have to consider. Victims that are going to deal with this for the rest of their lives," said the whistleblower.

As the investigation unfolded, after that email, and more victims and allegations came to light, the whistleblower had no regrets about writing the email.

"I'm a little bit shocked, to be honest with you. I didn't realize the depth of it or the period of time that it had allegedly been taking place," he said.

Three players have been charged and six victims identified. Investigators also requested charges against former football coach Steve Belles, Hamilton Principal Ken James and Athletic Director Shawn Rustad. The police report indicates the three knew about the sexual assault allegations, some as far back as 2016, but failed to report them to police as required. 

"If people sat down and read it (the report) based on what the affidavit says I think it would blow their mind,” said the whistleblower.

Let's not kid ourselves, this isn't hazing; this is sexual assault. And there are victims out there that we have to consider. Victims that are going to deal with this for the rest of their lives.

After reading all the documents police have released associated with the investigation, the whistleblower is convinced the three school staffers facing possible charges absolutely knew what was going on and failed to protect the students.

After allegations against the staffers surfaced, the district’s only action was to remove Coach Belles from his coaching duties. He remained on campus as a teacher and Rustad and James remained in their respective positions. It wasn’t until September that school district officials reassigned the three to off-campus positions.

"I don't understand the decision to wait so long to do it. I believe given the type of crime we're talking about and the alleged knowledge that they had of it, I believe it should have been immediate," said the whistleblower.

This parent is frustrated that months have gone by without charges being filed against the staffers. Another huge point of frustration and disappointment is the lack of outrage and reaction from the Hamilton High community. 

"I'm completely shocked by that. I will tell you from the outside looking in the appearance is that the community is circling the wagon, so to speak, but not circling the right wagon. I think they're circling the wagons to protect a prestigious program," said the whistleblower. 

Investigators and prosecutors believe there are more victims out there. But since the county attorney's plea last month for more people to come forward, no one has.

[RELATED: County attorney thinks there are more Hamilton High hazing victims]

“I believe that the culture that's been created is preventing that. The fact that the administrators were left on campus as long as they were probably prevented that. And if you're a parent that's preventing that you should be ashamed of yourself," said the whistleblower. 

[RELATED: Attorney for Hamilton High hazing victim says client was forced to recant story in video]

A spokeswoman for the Maricopa County Attorney's Office said the case against the three staffers is still under review

[TIMELINE: Hamilton High School hazing scandal]

I will tell you from the outside looking in the appearance is that the community is circling the wagon, so to speak, but not circling the right wagon.


Click/tap here to download the free azfamily mobile app.

Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.