Civil lawsuit filed after alleged assault in Piedmont High School locker room

Mother files suit after son allegedly assault at Piedmont High School

PIEDMONT, Ala. (WBRC) - The mother of a former Piedmont Middle School student who was allegedly assaulted by members of the high school’s football team in 2019 has filed a civil lawsuit.

The lawsuit is filed against the students involved in the alleged assault, Piedmont City School District and football coaches at the high school.

The mother, Vanessa Chasteen, says that her son will soon be going back to school for the first time since she pulled him out after the assault and alleged multiple incidents of hazing that took place afterwards. She says that she wants the people at the school and district to be held accountable for what she says happened to her son under their supervision.

“....things like this do happen at school,” she said.

The complaint filed states that her son was grabbed by the suspects while they forced a car key into the victim’s anal region as part of a team ritual called “keying.”

Following that incident, the filing alleges that Chasteen’s son was harassed verbally by students and a coach in the fall of 2020.

Three of the players involved in that alleged incident were charged with misdemeanor third-degree assault.

The defendants in the civil suit Chasteen and her son filed include the players involved in the alleged assault, defensive coordinator James Blanchard, head coach Steve Smith and the Piedmont City School District. The suit claims that the coaches were aware of the practice of “keying” in the program.

We reached out to those parties Tuesday morning. Smith said he and his lawyer would not be giving any statement at this time. Blanchard and the school district did not return a request for comment.

Chasteen says the goal of the civil suit is to hold those in charge accountable.

The suit accuses the coaches and students of negligence, intentional and reckless, infliction of emotional distress, assault, and more. We’ll keep you updated as learn more about the case.

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