Gwinnett school board hears baseball sexual assault case – WSB Atlanta

Gwinnett County School Board members met Monday to discuss allegations of hazing involving members of a baseball team that includes Parkview High School students.

The school board met behind closed doors in early morning executive session, Channel 2’s Aaron Diamant reported.

Diamant confirmed that the board upheld a one-year suspension for at least one of the players. A total of five students appealed the decision to suspend them for the entire school year.

Two hours later, the board voted to accept their confidential decision on appeals filed by the students. A school spokeswoman said the families would be notified about the decision.

Two weeks ago, the school district issued long-term suspensions for six members of the Panthers summer baseball team which is a travel team made up of many Parkview High School players.

The alleged incident happened in June when the team traveled to Charleston, South Carolina for a tournament.

Diamant was able to read a confidential written summary the school board received, outlining the accusations made by two rising freshman baseball players.

One of the teens claimed he was “pinned down and… penetrated with three or four fingers.”

Another student said he was “pinned and struck in the groin by an unidentified varsity player.”

The written summary also said two freshmen claim “several varsity players announced to the freshman to beware because they were going to accost/haze them.”

A lawsuit filed against the hotel where the team stayed claims that a third player was also touched inappropriately.

The North Charleston Police Department is working with Gwinnett County investigators to determine if criminal charges should be filed.

Attorney Giles Sexton told Diamant his sophomore client was cleared of sexual misconduct, but the suspension was upheld on appeal.

“My client told me from the beginning he never saw anything of the nature, which was described in the allegations as it relates to sexual battery,” Sexton said. “I still feel that based on his level of involvement, his sanction is too high.”

Sexton said he thinks the ruling to drop bullying and encouragement violations will help his client in the criminal investigation.

A Channel 2 Action News employee is related to one of the boys in the case. The employee has not been involved in our coverage and has taken a leave of absence to give their family full attention.


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