Karine Jean-Pierre
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5 Christian School Staffers Charged Over Alleged Sex Abuse Cover-Up

Those arrested in connection to the cover-up

Two coaches and three administrators at Midland Christian School in Texas were charged Wednesday with failure to report with intent to conceal neglect or abuse after a student alleged he was sexually assaulted during baseball practice.

While the police did not name those charged, local news station KWES reports that those interviewed from the school about the case were Barry Russell, Gregory McClendon, Matthew Counts, Jared Lee, and Dana Ellis.

The alleged assault took place last month. The victim, a ninth-grader, told a forensic interviewer that he was in the locker room when the lights went out. A sophomore student told the victim it was “freshman initiation day.” Another student hit him, and he was pushed to the ground. The victim said others were screaming at him.

He told the interviewer that he tried to hit his assailant but was told he couldn’t hit back.

The victim said he was then sexually assaulted with a bat, KWES reports.

Authorities went to the school following the interview to speak with Lee, the school’s superintendent. Ellis, a secondary principal, reportedly told Lee what happened back in January. Lee had coaches McClendon and Counts to look into what happened.

On February 14, the news outlet reports, Lee refused police officers’ request for documentation over the incident and refused to answer questions over the phone. A search warrant was served that day.

Police have stated that evidence collected shows that nothing had been created about the alleged assault until a few days before.

In its investigation, the police department found that the five people arrested had knowledge about the assault but did not report it, violating Texas law. It also found emails showing refusal to report the attack.

A student was arrested Thursday in connection with the assault.

In a statement provided to KWES, the president of the board of trustees for the school, Jason Stockstill, said, “The five administrators were notified of an alleged hazing incident involving some of our student athletes that resulted in school disciplinary action. Subsequently, school leadership was contacted by [Midland police] regarding the alleged incident. Our school officials have and will continue to, cooperate with law enforcement and their investigation. Currently, we have qualified acting administrators to supervise the campus, oversee student activities, support faculty, and maintain the day-to-day operation of the school.”

Tags: Crime, Texas, Schools

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