Charges resolved against one Hamilton High suspect

Posted: Updated:
The case against one of the suspects in the Hamilton hazing scandal has been resolved. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) The case against one of the suspects in the Hamilton hazing scandal has been resolved. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Police have recommended charges against three school administrators but so far none have been filed. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Police have recommended charges against three school administrators but so far none have been filed. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
The case that is resolved involves one of the cases filed in juvenile court. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) The case that is resolved involves one of the cases filed in juvenile court. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Therapist Terrina Picarello said she is not surprised that investigators believe there are more than the six identified victims out there, but no others willing to come forward. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Therapist Terrina Picarello said she is not surprised that investigators believe there are more than the six identified victims out there, but no others willing to come forward. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Last week a video surfaced on Facebook showing one of the sexual assault victims recanting his story. (Source: Facebook) Last week a video surfaced on Facebook showing one of the sexual assault victims recanting his story. (Source: Facebook)
CHANDLER, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

Arizona’s Family has confirmed that one of the suspects charged in the sexual assault investigation involving the Hamilton High School football program has resolved the case against him.

The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office brought charges against four former Hamilton football players in connection with sexual hazing that reportedly took place in the locker room. One 15-year-old and two 16-year-old suspects were charged as juveniles while one 17-year-old suspect was charged as an adult. The case that is resolved involves one of the cases filed in juvenile court.

[RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Hamilton High whistleblower sits down for graphic interview]

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

The MCAO did not have details on the resolution of the case but promised to answer our inquiry as soon as possible.

Meantime, Terrina Picarello, M.A., L.P.C., a trauma therapist at Psychological Counseling Services, LTD., in Scottsdale, who has been following the Hamilton High scandal, refers to it as “a great example of adult failure on all levels.”

[SPECIAL SECTION: Hamilton High School hazing case]

Picarello is not surprised that investigators believe there are more than the six identified victims out there, but no others willing to come forward. She also said, as a therapist, she understands parents not allowing their children to speak out about the abuse and cooperate with authorities.

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

“As moms and dads, you’re protecting your cub. So your rational logical brain is offline. And you’re going into animal instinctive, tribal fear and protection is just shut it down. And that’s real normal behavior,” said Picarello.

In July, Chandler investigators recommended criminal charges against three Hamilton administrators for failing to report the alleged sexual abuse. So far, no charges have been filed.

[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]

Last week, a video surfaced on Facebook showing one of the sexual assault victims recanting his story that 17-year-old Nate Thomas, who is being tried as an adult, attacked him in the locker room. The victim’s attorney said his client was coerced and pressured by the person taking the video to say things that would clear Thomas.

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

“As a trauma therapist, that’s one more level of evidence that we are not protecting that child. So, I’m that child. My experience is once again, I’m not protected. Because something bad just happened to me again. Now there’s a video of me on Facebook, on the news. That feels incredibly unsafe. That’s over a child’s pay scale to protect themselves in high school,” said Picarello.

[RELATED: 'My son did not do this,' says mom of accused Hamilton High football player]

A small handful of parents have been concerned that the Hamilton community has been rallying around the suspects and protecting the football program instead of being outraged about what has been alleged to have gone on in the locker room.

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

Picarello said that’s pretty typical as well because people don’t want to negatively taint something they have great pride in.

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

“That is how the collective ‘we’ usually behave. That is the ABCs of human behavior. We will always hold up an institution because of our sense of certainty. What we’re doing, which is ugly to look at, is we’re saying my ego and my self-esteem are tied to this,” said Picarello.

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

There has also been criticism of the Chandler Unified School District administration for keeping the three accused adults on campus for months after the allegations against them were brought to light. It wasn’t until September that school district officials reassigned the three to off-campus positions.

[TIMELINE: Hamilton High School hazing scandal]

“All they have is us and we are in an epic failure as adults. We failed these kids because we want to keep our pride in Hamilton High School. Again, nothing wrong with doing that, and our pride in this football legacy. Nothing wrong with doing that but we don’t know how to accommodate the two going together. In my opinion, that’s why this is happening,” said Picarello.

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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.

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