Alleged sexual abuse shocks Dimond High football
Anchorage police and school officials are investigating an incident of sexual abuse involving members of Dimond High School’s football team, which reportedly occurred during a weekend trip to Fairbanks.
The team did not practice for a second straight day Tuesday. Instead, parents and players met exclusively with administrators during a closed-door meeting at the school. Anchorage police are investigating the incident that reportedly happened Saturday in Fairbanks, where Dimond played Lathrop High School.
Neither APD nor ASD officials provided details about the incident Tuesday, but a man who emerged from the meeting said it occurred in Fairbanks, as Dimond’s varsity and junior varsity teams visited for a Saturday game.
According to the parent, who refused to identify himself, district officials told people that at least two suspects had sexually abused at least two victims.
ASD’s superintendent, Dr. Deena Bishop, said the matter remained under investigation but that it involved “serious allegations, serious charges.”
"Anytime a child is involved, with any kind of a crime, or incident at school, whether it be a serious nature or not, even at any level, bullying, things like that, these are our children. and we ensure when parents send them to school, we act as the parents, so, in that role, I take these personally and seriously," said Bishop.
According to ASD spokeswoman Catherine Esary, Dimond’s principal learned Monday of “a concern involving the DHS football program.”
“Dimond High School and the Anchorage School District take all concerns seriously and are cooperating fully with the Anchorage Police Department,” Esary wrote. “This concern involves an ongoing investigation and the District is unable to comment further.”
Asked whether police were investigating the matter, APD spokeswoman Renee Oistad said the department “does not comment on whether or not a sexual assault investigation is taking place unless/until charges are filed.” She subsequently released a statement from Capt. Josh Nolder, head of APD’s Detective Division.
“The Anchorage Police Department has been made aware of an incident involving the Dimond High School football team and we are investigating,” Nolder said. “This is an active investigation and we cannot release additional information at this time.”
Fairbanks Police Department spokeswoman Yumi McCulloch said the department had no involvement with the case, but confirmed that police had discussed the matter with APD.
“Our patrol officers talked to them and they're dealing with everything down there,” McCulloch said.
Football practice at Dimond High was canceled for a second day Tuesday. There's no word when the team will resume practice, or if it will play Friday night.
Dave Goldman, Dave Leval and John Thain contributed information to this story.
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