Printed on: December 01, 2012

Complaint filed in hazing case

Three of four former Blackfoot basketball players seek costs, fees

By Ruth Brown
rbrown@postregister.com

A complaint was filed Friday against Blackfoot School District 55, Bingham County and the city of Blackfoot by three former students charged in the 2010 Blackfoot hazing case.

Additionally, the complaint also names a number of individuals -- Bingham County Prosecutor Scott Andrew, Bingham County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Randy Smith, Blackfoot Police investigator Paul Newbold, Blackfoot Police Chief David Moore and Blackfoot Police Capt. Kurt Asmus.

The complaint was filed about 4:30 p.m. Friday with the 7th Judicial District Court on behalf of Logan Chidester, Nathan Walker and Tyson Katseanes, all former Blackfoot basketball players.

The former players are seeking to recover court costs, attorney fees and any other fees the court deems justified.

Chidester, Walker and Katseanes originally faced felony charges. The charges were filed after reports of hazing emerged during the 2009-10 basketball season, according to previous reports.

Eventually, all of the felony charges were dismissed and the three were convicted of misdemeanor crimes.

A fourth player, Anthony Clarke, also was convicted in the hazing case but was not a party to the complaint filed Friday.

The complaint levels a number of allegations against law enforcement, school and city officials -- malicious prosecution, making false public statements, concealment of evidence, witness intimidation and intentional infliction of emotional distress, among others.

One of the written allegations claimed that Andrew, Moore, and Smith repeatedly made false, insulting, offensive and inflammatory statements about the men and other members of the Blackfoot High School basketball team calculated to shame, humiliate and to produce public condemnation.

Another written allegation in the complaint stated that the defendants conduct "had the direct and foreseeable consequence of marking (the three men) and other members of the Blackfoot High School basketball team as violent criminals and as violent sexual offenders in the minds of hundreds of millions of people."

The case generated worldwide headlines.

Chidester, Walker and Katseanes previously filed after a tort claim against all of the parties named in the complaint Friday. That earlier claim was denied.

Ruth Brown can be reached at 542-6750. Follow on Twitter: @ruthbrown1. Comment on this story on Post Talk at www.postregister.com/posttalk/.