Three teachers and two coaches arrested for covering up sex assault at Christian school baseball practice

A juvenile has also been arrested by the Midland police department

Alisha Rahaman Sarkar
Thursday 17 February 2022 17:31

Five faculty members of a school in Texas were arrested on Wednesday for failing to report an incident of alleged sexual assault that took place during a baseball practice.

Three teachers and two coaches of Midland Christian School were charged with failure to report with intent to conceal neglect or abuse, police said.

The accused have been identified as superintendent Jared Lee, school principal Dana Ellis, vice principal Matthew Counts, athletic director Greg McClendon, and head baseball coach Barry Russell, CBS7 reported.

The assault took place on 20 January at the Christensen Stadium during a baseball practice. The survivor, whose identity was undisclosed as he is a minor, told a forensic interviewer from Children's Advocacy Centre that he was in a locker room at the stadium to change when the lights were turned off.

Another student reportedly told him that it was “freshman initiation day” before someone began to hit him.

He was being hit when he was pushed to the ground and was being screaming at. He attempted to hit his attacker but was told he was not allowed to hit back, reported NewsWest9.

The survivor stated he was then sexually assaulted with a bat.

Superintendent Jared Lee

Principal Dana Ellis

Vice principal Matthew Counts

Following the interview, Midland police questioned Mr Lee, who was notified about the incident in mid-January.

When Ms Ellis informed the superintendent about the incident, Mr Lee instructed vice principal Mr Counts and athletic director Mr McClendon to probe the case.

On 14 February, Mr Lee told police officers he would not turn over the requested documentation about the incident and reportedly refused to answer further questions over the phone.

A search warrant was later served and authorities were able to obtain the documents concerning the investigation. Police, however, stated that the documents had only been created a few days ago.

Athletic director Greg McClendon

Baseball coach Barry Russell

It was determined during the investigation that the five school faculty members involved failed to report the sexual assault as required by Texas’s family code, according to authorities.

An unnamed juvenile has been arrested in relation to the assault.

All the accused faculty members left Midland County Jail Wednesday on personal recognisance bonds.

The school, in a statement to NewsWest9, said: “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,” added the statement, issued by Jason Stockstill, president of the Board of Trustees for Midland Christian School.

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