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Three file suit in hazing case

December 4, 2012

Three Blackfoot men have filed a lawsuit against Blackfoot School District 55, the County of Bingham, the City of Blackfoot, Scott Andrew, Randy Smith, Paul Newbold, Kurt Asmus, David Moore and agents, officers and employees of the above entities. The suit was filed at 4:55 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 30.
Plaintiffs Logan Chidester, Nathan Walker and Tyson Katseanes filed this complaint in Bingham County District Court, asserting 16 causes of actions. The causes of actions include malicious persecution, making false public statements, concealment of evidence, fabrication of false evidence, conspiracy, witness intimidation and 10 more.
Chidester, Walker and Katseanes were initially charged with forceable penetration with a foreign object, a felony, in December 2010. Their cases gained national attention in the early part of 2011. The felony charges were later dismissed.
Chidester and Walker's sentences were modified to a misdemeanor charge of disturbing the peace. Katseanes was sentenced for a misdemeanor charge of aiding and abetting.
As of Monday afternoon, no defendant had yet been served in this case.
Blackfoot police captain Asmus said even after he is served, he will have no comment on pending litigation.
Asked why the case was filed and what he hoped to accomplish, Tyson Katseanes answered, "I want the real truth to be presented.
"I want our names cleared from this mess," Tyson said. "We were wrestling around like brothers. There was nothing sexual.
"We want people to know [what happened]," he said.
"It has influenced my life and my family," Tyson said. "I want to get my family back on track and get my life back.
"I've had difficulty getting a decent job," he said. "I have a good job now.
"I've endured mental and verbal abuse," Tyson said. "[The county] knows that they were wrong.
"We did nothing wrong," he said. "They thought they had something but apparently they didn't. I think they wanted their names in highlights."
Jeff Katseanes, Tyson's father, said, "We've never been able to get Tyson's side of the story.
"We want to make sure this doesn't happen again," Jeff said. "It's a life-changing event.
"I don't think much thought was put into the end game," he said. "It didn't pass the smell test. Due to the time restraint, [the county] threw charges out there and ran with it.
"I was getting grilled about an interview when I had a picture that proved that all of us were in Disneyland on my wife's birthday, [the date of the alleged crime]," Jeff said. "I don't think they found facts before they threw out charges."
Linnea Chidester, mother of plaintiff Logan Chidester, said, "I don't want any backlash of the boys or the alleged victims. They are all good kids and good families.
"It's a tragedy for everyone," said Chidester. "I hope this will never—ever—never happen to any families again."
In a press release, Jeffrey Thomason, attorney for the plaintiffs wrote, "The Complaint filed on behalf of those wrongfully persecuted speaks for itself. The community understands that there is a pattern of local law enforcement getting it wrong and prematurely accusing citizens of committing serious crimes based on incompetent evidence. Fortunately, the Constitution protects those pursued without due process of the law."

 

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