High school program suspended amid sex misconduct allegation

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STRASBURG, Va. (AP) — A northern Virginia high school's boys basketball program has been suspended indefinitely following allegations of sexual misconduct on a team bus.

Shenandoah County Schools Superintendent Jeremy Raley on Thursday announced the suspension of the Strasburg High boys varsity and junior varsity practices and games until further notice.

Raley said the incident was reported to county school administrators earlier this week.

In a statement emailed to The Associated Press on Friday, Raley said the basketball program was suspended until further notice "due to the serious nature of the allegations, and in an effort to preserve the integrity of the fact-finding and review process."

Shenandoah County Sheriff's Maj. Scott Proctor said his office is investigating an alleged sexual assault on a team bus in mid-December. Proctor told news outlets that the alleged victim was a 16-year-old male who was traveling with the team. The incident involved only students and no one required medical attention, he said.

Proctor said Strasburg police reported the incident to the sheriff's office Tuesday and that the investigation was in the early stages.

It wasn't immediately known whether adults were on the bus or whether disciplinary action was taken against anyone. Proctor didn't immediately return a telephone message, and Raley said he couldn't comment directly on personnel or student discipline matters.

"The safety and well-being of our students is and will continue to remain a priority for our school division," he said.

Strasburg, a town of 6,400 residents, is about 80 miles west of Washington, D.C.

In another case in Tennessee, the schools superintendent in Hamilton County announced Thursday that three high school officials charged with failing to report the sexual abuse of four basketball players were suspended without pay until an investigation into an incident last month is complete.

Three Ooltewah High School basketball players have been charged with the aggravated rape of a teammate while on a trip to Gatlinburg. A criminal complaint against the school officials says four freshmen boys were apparently abused. No other charges have been filed in the incident.

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