Police: 1 teen charged as adult in Chandler hazing case, school leaders remain tight-lipped

Posted at 4:41 PM, Mar 30, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-31 08:40:37-04

The Maricopa County Attorney's Office says criminal charges have been filed against three teens accused of hazing crimes at Hamilton High School.

According to an MCAO spokesperson, a 17-year-old Hamilton High student is being charged as an adult on sex assault, kidnapping and aggravated assault charges.  

Two 16-year-olds – who are also students at Hamilton High – are charged in juvenile court with kidnapping, aggravated assault and sexual assault. 

Leaders at Hamilton are remaining tight-lipped about the students' arrests.

ABC15 reached out to Hamilton High football coach Steve Belles on Thursday, as well as Principal Ken James and Superintendent Camille Casteel – all dead ends.

District spokesperson Terry Locke said they're continuing to cooperate with the investigation, however, details regarding the case must be directed towards Chandler police. 

"At this time, the District is not privy to all of the information that Chandler Police Department has gathered in its investigation," Locke said over email. "But once Chandler Police Department has completed its investigation the District will be conducting a full assessment of the situation and taking appropriate action."

Former students spoke out about the case and said there should be a limit to what happens around a locker room. 

"We are just known for our team bonding games so the things we do to become more a team, more friendly," former football player Joe Ortiz said.  "But if they are not into it and they say 'no,' you can't force it upon them."


"I guess this year they took it a little too far and too serious and got too personal with people to the extent that someone had to go tell," former football player Nathan Agyepong said.

A Chandler police spokesperson revealed on Thursday that there is a video related to the alleged hazing. Investigators aren't disclosing when the video was taken. 

District officials said they're continuing to reinforce its anti-hazing policy and will provide additional education to students.

In the email, Locke referred to a violence/harassment/intimidation/bullying policy found in the student handbook. 

Some excerpts from the handbook state:

Bullying: Repeated act occurring over an extended period of time and may include, but not limited to, verbal, written/printed or graphic exposure to derogatory comments, extortion, exploitation, name calling or rumor spreading either directly through another person or group.

Harassment: Intentional disruptive or threatening behavior by a student to another student.

Intimidation: Intentional behavior by a student(s) that places another student(s) in fear of harm of person or property; may be manifested emotionally or physically.

A Chandler police spokesperson said they're not releasing information about injuries, but multiple victims were targeted.

On Wednesday, five Hamilton High School students and one Chief Hill Learning Academy student – who also attends Hamilton High – were arrested stemming from an investigation that started earlier this year. 

Police originally said the six teens are believed to be linked to hazing crimes that occurred between Sept. 2015 to Jan. 2017.

Authorities believe there are still more victims. Anyone with information is urged to reach out to police at 480-782-4130.