Oklahoma officials seek information in sexual assault claim
TULSA, Okla. (AP) An Oklahoma school official said Wednesday that more information is being gathered regarding a 16-year-old suburban Tulsa football player's allegations that he was sexually assaulted by several of his teammates during an event at the superintendent's house.
Bixby Board of Education President Ron Schnare said in a statement that ''a number of interviews have been conducted and all of the facts are being gathered'' in an internal investigation by the school district's outside legal counsel and the Bixby High School administration.
A search warrant filed Monday in Tulsa district court accuses administrators at the high school of waiting days before reporting the September incident. Investigators have seized the cellphones of Superintendent Kyle Wood and other school officials and given them a Dec. 1 deadline to turn over their emails regarding ''sexual assault, hazing or bullying involving members of the Bixby football team in 2016 or 2017.''
Schnare said school officials will receive an update on the internal investigation Thursday but he declined to give details or comment on students or employees who may be involved, citing federal and state laws.
''I want the public to know that all of the board members and the persons investigating these issues take this matter very seriously,'' Schnare said.
The football player told detectives that a teammate shoved a pool stick into his anus through his shorts while three others held him down at Wood's home. Investigators say a fifth player recorded the assault on a cellphone, and another blocked a door.
An Associated Press investigation published earlier this year that examined sexual violence in school sports found that teammate-on-teammate sexual assaults occurred in all types of sports in public schools. Experts said the more than 70 cases in five years that AP identified suggested the issue was much larger.