Chandler Police Recommend Criminal Charges Against 2 Hamilton High School Officials

By Carrie Jung
Published: Tuesday, July 25, 2017 - 2:55pm
Updated: Tuesday, July 25, 2017 - 3:08pm

The Chandler Police Department is recommending criminal charges for the former head football coach and principal at Hamilton High School for not reporting allegations of hazing within the football program that reportedly occurred between 2015 and 2017.

Police department officials said detectives found evidence during their monthslong investigation that suggests former football coach Steve Belles and Principal Ken James knew about the allegations but didn’t report them, instead, opting to look into the incidents themselves.

Daniel Mejia, a police department spokesman, said by law, all suspected cases of child abuse must be passed along to law enforcement.

"It’s their duty to report it to local authorities," he said. "So we can further investigate or determine if this is a crime or not."

Chandler Unified School District officials said in a statement that both men will continue working in their academic roles, though Belles has been relieved of football coaching duties this year. They add that both are innocent until proven guilty.

The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office should decide whether to file charges within the next 30 days.

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