BIXBY, Okla. – Charges have been filed against four former Bixby High School football players accused in a sexual assault investigation.
Last year, the victim reportedly told officials that he was at a football team function at the home of the Bixby superintendent when he was sexually assaulted.
An affidavit obtained by the Tulsa World reports that the victim was held down by his teammates and was sodomized with a pool stick.
The victim said he was “unable to see everything going on during the assault” but heard one of his attackers say, “The deeper it goes, the louder he screams.”
According to the affidavit, investigators were also looking into “indications of a ‘cover-up’” in reporting of the assault by school officials.
“It is unclear when school officials reported this sexual assault of a child to the authorities, although it was certainly delayed for days,” the affidavit states. “It certainly appears that any reporting of the incident was significant and has caused difficulty in the investigation, especially 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.”
When a school official finally reported the sexual assault to police in November, according to the affidavit he said that the superintendent had finally “given him permission to report the incident to police, but directed it be reported to a certain Bixby police officer.”
According to a new search warrant affidavit obtained by the Tulsa World, five juveniles provided written statements “admitting their various levels of participation in the sexual assault of the victim and the video recording of the sexual assault.”
In fact, it states that one student admitted to police that he recorded the assault and was concerned about protecting the evidence on his phone because a parent of a suspect “had recently offered to purchase” his cell phone.
The affidavit says that Bixby Athletic Director Jay Bittle took a written statement from the victim on Oct. 26, but the assault wasn’t reported to any investigative agency until Oct. 31 in an ‘off the record’ meeting with Bixby police.
“Those present indicated Superintendent Kyle Wood would not allow school officials to report the incident to the police until the morning of Nov. 2,” the affidavit states.
In addition to investigating the possible rape, officials were also looking into “whether there were efforts to avoid the mandatory reporting requirements” by school officials “as well as potential efforts to thwart a police investigation into the incident.”
Now, officials have charged four Bixby football players with second-degree rape by instrumentation. The three 17-year-olds and one 16-year-old were all taken into custody and bonded out of jail on Thursday night.
The teens are all charged as youthful offenders.
In addition to these charges, officials told the Tulsa World that there is an ongoing investigation into several adults related to the case.
Tulsa County District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler issued the following statement to KJRH about a possible separate investigation involving players on the team:
“Although we have been advised today that there may be a separate investigation taking place regarding a player/players on the Bixby footbal team, we are not in a position to comment on the investigation. We will let the investigative authorities do their job and report to us if and when they believe it becomes necessary.”