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Three Ooltewah HS students found guilty in Sevier County

The trial for the three teenagers charged in the Ooltwah rape case is expected to start Tuesday at the Sevier County Courthouse. (Image: WTVC)

UPDATE:

A sentencing hearing has now been scheduled:

UPDATE:

A verdict has been reached in the Ooltewah rape trial.

A family member of one of the accused boys confirmed with NewsChannel 9 that the main suspect was found guilty of all charges, and the younger suspects were only found guilty of aggravated assault.

She confirmed that all three suspects were taken to jail immediately following the trial.

The attorney for the family of the main victim Eddie Schmidt would not disclose the verdict, but did say that what happened in that cabin was "predictable."

Schmidt tells NewsChannel 9 that there will be some type of sentencing hearing in September, but could not give an exact date.

NewsChannel 9's Stephanie Santostasi was at the trial, and has reported that the main victim's mother was seen leaving the court room in tears.

Schmidt says he will file a civil lawsuit in 7-10 days against the Board of Education in Hamilton County federal court.

ALSO:

Sevier County Juvenile Court Judge Jeffrey Radar says closing the hearing to the public was the only “reasonable alternative” because:

  • The three teenagers charged are minors and they might be found not guilty, and if so, discussing the details publicly could result in harm to them;
  • The teenagers attacked were “alleged victims” (yes, plural) of sex crimes and it is common practice to ensure the privacy of sex crime victims;
  • The Department of Children’s Services records and criminal investigative records that will be discussed are required to remain private;

The judge also said this about news coverage: “The subject matter of this hearing has received considerable coverage in the media. The court’s finding that the identity of the juveniles in this case would be compromised is no mere speculation, as intensive media coverage of the subject matter of this hearing has been ongoing since December, 2015.”




ORIGINAL STORY:

The trial for the three teenagers charged in the Ooltwah rape case started Tuesday morning in Sevier County, Tennessee. (Scroll down to read the latest tweets from the courthouse).

The three teenagers charged in connection with the extreme hazing and rape of several younger students will appear in a Sevier County courtroom.

All three are charged with aggravated rape and aggravated assault and will all be tried as juveniles.

NewsChannel 9 cameras will not be allowed inside during the hearing, but we will be following the case in Sevierville.

We are in the courthouse now and watching as people go in & out of the courtroom. Below are reporter Stephanie Santostasi tweets as new developments come in:










Depend on NewsChannel 9 to bring you updates on this story online and on air as they are made available.

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