Piedra Vista football player claims incident took place Sept. 5

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FARMINGTON — The Farmington Municipal School District has been notified of possible legal action regarding the alleged criminal sexual contact of a high school football player.

Farmington attorney Steve Murphy filed a notice of tort claim with Farmington schools Thursday that litigation may occur regarding the alleged incident that took place on or about Sept. 5 at Piedra Vista High School, according to a copy of the notice of tort claim.

Murphy is representing the alleged victim and his family.

Murphy stated the notice of tort claim gives the school district 90 days' notice that litigation may commence.

The claim alleges members of the high school football team conspired to commit the alleged act of criminal sexual contact of a juvenile male on the team.

The notice also alleges members of the school's athletic department "conspired to 'cover up' and 'minimize' the tragic event by blaming the victim."

The high school allegedly conducted a hearing, during which the victim was accused of "lying" and being "untruthful" about the incident, according to the notice.

The alleged victim was asked to provide a written statement regarding the alleged incident, according to Murphy.

The district has refused to provide the victim's written statement to his mother, who was not notified of the hearing, Murphy stated.

Gene Schmidt, Farmington schools superintendent, said in a statement the district is investigating the allegations and does not comment on ongoing investigations.

"The safety and well-being of our students has always been and will remain our highest priority," Schmidt said in a statement.

The case is still open for the Farmington Police Department, according to spokesperson Georgette Allen.

The case was sent to the San Juan County District Attorney's Office for screening, Allen said.

Dustin O'Brien, San Juan County chief deputy district attorney, told The Daily Times another state DA's Office in a different judicial district probably will review the case, as it features a possible conflict of interest. San Juan County District Attorney Rick Tedrow has coached individuals involved in the case, O'Brien said.

The local DA's Office received the report from Farmington police on Thursday.

O'Brien said it has not been decided which DA's Office will review the case for possible charges.

Joshua Kellogg covers crime, courts and social issues for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627 or via email at jkellogg@daily-times.com.

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