Suit wants player returned to school

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By The Staff

The parents of a Robertson High School football player accused of rape and kidnapping in a hazing incident and kicked out of school have sued the school district, contending he was not directly involved.

The federal court lawsuit also says that in any case, the player was being punished for behavior that was implicitly endorsed by the coaching staff.

The plaintiff is one of six former Robertson players charged with conspiracy, second-degree criminal sexual penetration, kidnapping, attempted criminal sexual penetration and attempted kidnapping after the alleged hazing of younger football players at a preseason camp in August.

The lawsuit, which names the district, the school board, Superintendent Rick Romero and board president Patrick Romero, contends the disciplinary process was unlawful and asks that Gutierrez be allowed to return to school.

State police, in a report about the allegations of sodomy with a broomstick, said younger players were told to “take it like a man”and that their attackers ignored their pleas to stop.

The players were suspended for 10 days for violating the district’s anti-bullying policy. Five subsequently were suspended for the rest of the year; the sixth was expelled. Head football coach Ray Woods and six assistants resigned Sept. 6.

The player’s complaint argues the disciplinary hearing used unlawful procedures concerning his right to cross-examine witnesses and to know the evidence against him beforehand.

Kevin Brown, attorney for the Las Vegas schools, said school hearings do not have to meet the same standards as criminal ones.