TULSA, Okla. (AP) — A district attorney is fighting against efforts to recuse his office from a sexual assault case against four Oklahoma high school football players.

The Tulsa World reports that attorneys for the Bixby High School students filed a motion this month to recuse the Rogers County District Attorney's office from prosecuting the case. The students are accused in a 16-year-old's September rape at the former superintendent's home. They've pleaded not guilty to second-degree rape by instrumentation.

The motion alleges an assistant district attorney from the office has a close relationship with the victim's mother.

District Attorney Matt Ballard has asked the judge to overrule the motion. He argues that the prosecutor in question hasn't appeared in the case and won't be assigned to it. He says her employment isn't enough to create a conflict requiring a recusal.