Court Documents Detail Assault Involving Norman North HS Wrestlers


Monday, February 1st 2016, 11:29 pm
By: News 9


Rape charges were filed Monday against four Norman North High School wrestlers.

Court documents said the students sexually assaulted a 16-year-old and a 12-year-old. Police said the bus had a surveillance camera with some level of night vision.

That video, along with forensic interviews and other evidence, led the district attorney to move forward with charges.

2/1/2016 Related Story: Four Norman North High School Wrestlers Charged With Rape

And News 9 wants to warn you, the following is graphic.

Court documents paint a gruesome picture of what happened on the back of a bus in early January.

They said the Norman North High School junior varsity wrestling team was returning from a tournament in Pauls Valley, when four students attacked two boys.

First, the documents said 17-year old Sage Gandenberger and 18-year-old Tanner Shipman restrained a 16-year-old victim under the seats of the bus while 17-year-old Hunter Matthews provided light for them.

And court documents said Sage and another wrestler, 16-year-old Chase Smith, inserted their fingers into the victim, some over the clothing, for more than six minutes.

Chase allegedly shouted he could feel the victim's pelvic bone.

“Invading another person’s body, it’s more than just like a pink belling or razzing somebody,” Cleveland and Garvin counties District Attorney Greg Mashburn said. “There’s no other word to describe it than a sexual assault that occurred.”

Documents also said a 12-year-old victim was later lured to the back of the bus. Investigators said Chase restrained the boy, "wrapping his arms around his body and covering his mouth."

Sage, with a condom over the fingers, assaulted the boy before Chase would have his turn as well, the documents allege.

But it apparently didn't end once the bus arrived back at school.

Investigators said the 12-year-old was forced to a secluded corner and assaulted again.

Stacey Wright, founder of Yes All Daughters said her heart goes out to the victims.

“They have a long, long, long road ahead of them to recovery after this. Their lives are never going to be the same,” she said.

Norman Public Schools said one of the coaches on the bus was fired. The other resigned.

Norman police said no criminal allegations have come against those coaches.

Norman Schools Superintendent Dr. Joseph Siano released another statement on new procedures the schools will implement as a result of this incident:

“We will not tolerate individuals who victimize our students. Upon notification of the incident we immediately began an investigation and within hours suspended students involved, dismissed one coach and suspended a second coach pending an investigation. The second coach’s employment with the district has since been terminated and suspended students are being disciplined by the school to the fullest extent of the law. We have also strengthened our student activity travel procedures and now require increased supervision on all student trips, supervisors to be seated in areas where they can see students at all times, procedures to be reinforced with expanded training sessions and increased video surveillance equipment on district buses. In addition, we continue to implement sexual assault prevention education programs in our schools and previously implemented procedures have prepared us to take swift action in these cases. Our hearts break for these victims and our student advocacy coordinators are working closely with them through this traumatic time.”