CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) - A federal judge has recused himself from two rape lawsuits against a Tennessee high school, citing a law that deals with impartiality.

The cases allege the Hamilton County Board of Education failed to protect students on an Ooltewah High School basketball trip in 2015 when one freshman was raped with a pool cue and three others were attacked by teammates.

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The Chattanooga Times Free Press reports U.S. District Judge Travis McDonough didn't explain his removal Monday after more than a year into court proceedings. The students filed the lawsuits in September and December 2016, and McDonough has been on the case since then.

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McDonough declined the newspaper's request for comment Tuesday.

Judge Harry "Sandy" Mattice is now on the case. The trial is set for September.

Information from: Chattanooga Times Free Press

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