Ex-Hamilton High School coach Steve Belles talked with Brad Cesmat about hazing, the criminal investigation and his future in coaching.
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Arraignment of Nathaniel Thomas, a Hamilton High School football player accused of assault, on Thursday, April 13, 2017.
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Ken Countryman, the attorney of Hamilton High School football player Nathaniel Thomas, 17, was joined by the teen’s family and friends after the Thomas was granted a bond by a Maricopa County Superior Court judge Wednesday afternoon.
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Nathaniel William Thomas, 17, arrested on criminal charges in connection with an assault investigation at Chandler Hamilton High School, was released on bond from a Maricopa County jail on April 6, 2017. Logan Newman/azcentral.com
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Initial court appearance of Nathaniel William Thomas, 17, who was charged with several felony counts in a case which began with allegations of hazing at Hamilton High School in Chandler. Maricopa County Superior Court
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Here’s what we know about the Hamilton High School hazing arrests.
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Steve Belles with Brad Cesmat
Nathaniel Thomas arraignment
Attorney defends charged Hamilton player
Nathaniel Thomas released from jail
Nathaniel Thomas’s initial court appearance
Here’s what we know about the Hamilton High arrests
Chandler police returned to Hamilton High School on Thursday morning to search for records and other documentation related to assault allegations that date back to September 2015.
The search following Wednesday night’s graduation ceremony was announced by Chandler police spokesman Sgt. Daniel Mejia as a follow-up to a “very much active” case that resulted in the arrests and charging of three football players.
Police records indicate a series of assaults and attempted assaults involving four victims younger than 15 were at the hands of fellow athletes. Police and Chandler Unified School District said a third party alerted them in February about the allegations, which are believed to have occurred from September 2015 to January.
Six teens were arrested March 29 at the school, and three were charged.
One player, Nathaniel William Thomas, 17, was charged with a series of felonies involving three victims. The teen was charged as an adult with sexual assault and multiple counts of molestation, kidnapping and aggravated assault. He was released from the Maricopa County Lower Buckeye Jail on April 6 after paying a $25,000 bond.
Two 16-year-old players charged in juvenile court face kidnapping, aggravated assault and assault charges.
Hamilton football coach Steve Belles was reassigned in the wake of the scandal. Belles told Sports360AZ host Brad Cesmat last month that his responsibility as coach leaves him ultimately responsible.
“I was the captain of the ship. I’m the one being held responsible. That’s just the way it goes when you’re the guy in charge,” Belles said.
Chandler Unified School District announced in May that Belles had been offered a teaching contract for the 2017-2018 school year but would not return to coaching.
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