Five Officials at Midland Christian School in Texas Hid Horrific Locker Room Sex Assault, Police Say
Five officials at a private Christian Academies in Texas are facing felony charges alleging they failed to notify authorities after a 9th grade student reported being sexual assault by an elderly student during an obnoxious incident on “freshman day of admission”.
The three managers and two athletic trainers at Midland Christian School are identified in the arrest warrant affidavit obtained by The Daily Beast as Superintendent Jared Owen Lee, High School Principal Dana Elizabeth Ellis, athletic director Gregory Neal McClendon, high school vice principal Matthew David Counts, and baseball coach Barry Lee Russell.
“We are motivated in every way by our faith in Jesus Christ, striving to serve as a reflection of God’s unconditional love for all people.” Midland Christian’s website states. “We seek to glorify God in all that we do by operating Midland Christian School in a way that is consistent with biblical principles. It is important to us that every word and action of Midland Christian School, its staff, representatives, volunteers, and students be consistent with and fulfill the religious purposes of the Christian School. Midland Church: both public and private. ”
But five school officials appear to have disobeyed those guidelines after the alleged January attack was first exposed. equal Midland Reporter-Telegram.
On January 28, a Midland Police Department detective was informed of a “probable sexual assault of a child” that had occurred eight days earlier after baseball practice at Midland Christian. .
In an interview with the authorities, the unnamed victim said that he had just entered the changing room to change when the lights were off. Another student said it was “first year first day,” and a 10th grader started hitting a 9th grader.
Then, the 9th grader’s hand was pinned down by another student’s knee, and he was flipped upside down, the affidavit states. That’s when one of the attackers sexually assaulted him with a baseball bat as other students looked on and cheered, it said.
The next day, the freshman told school officials what had happened. And then, nothing.
“The two of them see each other every day because they’re on the same baseball team,” the affidavit continued.
On February 11, police investigators were at Midland Christian and spoke with Ellis, the principal of the high school. She told police that she was aware of the incident and that it was recorded. However, Ellis said Lee, the school’s superintendent, was the only one with access to the files.
When Ellis told Lee about the gruesome incident, Lee ordered McClendon and the Counts to “conduct an ‘investigation’ into the incident instead of notifying law enforcement or other state agencies,” the statement said. swear to explain.
But when Lee contacted police on February 14, he refused to answer any questions or provide documents Ellis had referred, requiring police to obtain a search warrant.
Orders are issued and executed on the same day.
During the search, investigators were given access to “notes” written by McClendon and Counts documenting the incident, according to the affidavit.
In emails between all five people reviewed by police, “it made it very clear that a sexual assault had occurred and that it was the responsibility of the school to report it,” the affidavit continued, noting that “has been there were many emails exchanged” and that “Some administrators refused to report the incident.”
Five people were arrested Wednesday and released with a $5,000 fine. It is not yet clear if they will retain an attorney to speak on their behalf.
On Thursday, police have arrested a student in connection with the alleged assault, the authorities announced. No further details have been released, and the student, who is a minor, has yet to be identified.
“Our school officials have been and will continue to cooperate with law enforcement and their investigation,” said Midland board chairman Christian. Talk to Reporter-Telegram in a statement. “Currently, we have qualified authority administrators to oversee the campus, monitor student activities, support faculty, and maintain the day-to-day operations of the school. The physical, mental, and emotional safety of our students is the most important responsibility we bear as educators and one that we take seriously. We appreciate the support and prayers of our Midland Christian parents, teachers, staff, and students as we continue to lead, build, and equip Christ. . ”
The charges in the Midland Christian case are unsettlingly similar to those made in a 2020 civil lawsuit filed by a student at a Midland public school in the suburbs of Greenville. Administrators there were accused of covering up repeated sexual assaults against a student athlete by his teammates, According to court records reviewed by The Daily Beast, said the school was not only trying to wipe assault allegations under the rug, but also retaliated by “terminating a long-standing business relationship” with the victim’s father. The The case is expected to go to trial in September.