Ooltewah Coach’s Attorney Reacts to Dropped Charges
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) — Charges are dropped against the former Ooltewah High School head basketball coach.
Andre ‘Tank’ Montgomery was charged with failing to report the sexual assault involving members of the team.
“The folks that committed the crime were brought to justice. Mr. Montgomery has obtained justice,” said Montgomery’s attorney, Curtis Bowe.
Bowe says his client did nothing wrong.
Judge Don Poole dismissed the charges, saying Montgomery was only required to report the abuse if it was done by a parent or guardian.
“The statute’s pretty clear,” Bowe said. “I think Judge Poole in his order actually commented on that, and it says what it says and in reading the statute, it’s how it’s put together, and what the definitional sections apply to. And as a result, he dismissed it, because in this instance, the duty to report, as he put in his order, was not present here because those folks weren’t parents, guardians, care keepers.”
This all stems from an incident last December, where a basketball player was raped with a pool cue by fellow teammates.
Bowe says cases like this are tough, especially on the person charged.
“When you have a charge, it’s difficult to get a job. It’s difficult to make applications for jobs. It’s difficult to do anything, so you have to just bear down and deal with that emotional context, then move on to the legal context and actually try to make the proper arguments and do the right thing,” Bowe said.
As for Montgomery, Bowe says the charges have taken both an emotional and financial toll on his life.
“He’s dedicated his life to working with children and coaching children,” Bowe said. “He has a Master’s in education. He’s a great man, compassionate, and has a bond, a true bond with all the children that he works with. So to then spend a year not being able to do those things, not being able to be a good mentor, a good guide and help is very taxing, and I think that’s something that is going to haunt him for awhile.”
Bowe isn’t sure what’s next for Montgomery, but says he just needs time to put things back together and move forward.
Prosecutors say they are looking to potentially appeal the ruling.
The Hamilton County Board of Education says Montgomery is still suspended without pay. Its external investigation is ongoing.