• Search warrant: Bixby incident possibly happened twice, possible cover-up

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    Story Highlights

    Bixby Police say members of the high school football team possibly assaulted a fellow student

    The alleged incident took place at the superintendent's home

    Search warrant information suggests this is not the first time the alleged incidents happen 

    Several school officials' electronic communications and cell phones were seized

    The school board met Thursday night to discuss the investigation. No action was taken at the meeting, but officials confirmed some players have been suspended during the investigation

    The board's next scheduled meeting is set for December 14 at 6 p.m.

    BIXBY, Okla. - Search warrant information and a school board meeting shed new light on allegations of sexual assault involving members of the Bixby football team

    VIDEO: FOX23's Ashli Lincoln was live on Facebook to answer your questions about the case:

    In the document released to FOX23 News on Tuesday, the victim described the assault that allegedly took place earlier in the school year at Superintendent Kyle Wood's home. 

    Timeline: Bixby assault investigation. Scroll down for the rest of the story

    The Victim's Story

    The victim said he was with football teammates for a "team function" the evening of of September 27, when he was held down by three teammates, assaulted by another using a pool stick and filmed by a fifth teammate. 

    The victim said other players laughed and watched, while another blocked the door. 

    He told police that he was in "significant pain" and left the home immediately after. 

    He said the player who recorded the incident shared it with others and claimed to delete it when asked by one of the students who held down the victim. 

    District Meetings With Victim's Family

    The Bixby athletic director, Jay Bittle, reportedly contacted the victim's mother in late October to discuss the incident after hearing about it from other students. She told police she believed it could be handled internally, but set up a meeting a few days later with the superintendent because of a "lenient punishment". 

    Officers say in the affidavit that the parents did not know the bullying or hazing incident involved sexual assault when they had these discussions. 

    After speaking with her son, the victim's mother reportedly learned of the nature of the incident and that he also revealed a similar incident happened in 2016 at the same house. 

    Was there a Cover Up?

    Officers are not sure when the district became aware of the incident, but know they knew at least by the end of October. 

    They conducted an investigation and say principal Terry Adams asked if he had to report the incident to police or the Department of Human Services on October 31.

    Adams reportedly called Officer Toney for an "off the record" meeting the next day and said he had permission to report to police, but he allegedly requested a specific officer. 

    Afterward, one of the students who was accused of holding down the victim admitted to his involvement and named others in the incident. 

    A week after the principal called Officer Toney, Bixby police received a "very vague description" of the incident from a district official. The school district reportedly provided police with a written report on November 2 and met with police.

    A few days later, the department asked Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation to help. Attorney General Mike Hunter assigned District Attorney Matt Ballard to the case. 

    Ballard claims an attorney for the district advised officials to decline turning over their own investigation results "without legal process". They cited privacy laws. 

    "it is unclear when school officials reported this sexual assault of a child to the authorities, although it was certainly delayed for days" investigators wrote in the affidavit. "It certainly appears that any reporting of the incident was significant and has caused difficulty in the investigation, including the inability to preserve evidence. It also appears that there may have been some initial effort by one or others to not report the incident at all."

    DHS says the only report of the assault came after media coverage of the incident in mid-November. 

    Investigators requested cell phones and documents of any electronic communication between four district officials, as well as the cell phones of the students suspected of involvement. 

    Wednesday, the school board released a statement from board president Ron Schnare:

    As president of the Bixby Board of Education, I am issuing this statement to inform our citizenry of the District’s ongoing investigation involving certain Bixby High School students. 

     

    The investigation has been proceeding diligently and prudently by the District’s outside legal counsel with assistance by the Bixby High School administration.  A number of interviews have been conducted and all of the facts are being gathered for ultimate presentation to the Board of Education.

     

    As I have stated earlier, under state and federal law, the District, including its board members and staff, is precluded from commenting on any facts or information involving any students or employees who may be involved in the investigation.  These laws have prohibited the District from commenting on any details of the investigation.

     

    I want the public to know that all of the board members and the persons investigating these issues take this matter very seriously.  We understand the concerns of our patrons and we are sensitive of the need to insure that the values of our community are upheld.  To that end, a comprehensive and thorough investigation is ongoing.  The Board will conduct a meeting on Thursday, November 30 at 6:00 p.m. to receive an update on the investigation.

     

    In closing, I will say that you have placed your trust in five board members who are doing everything they can to retain that trust.  We will see this investigation to a full conclusion and you should trust that, if appropriate, we will hold individuals accountable for their actions.

     


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