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USA News

Five Christian school employees arrested for ‘concealing locker room assault’

by Kelly Valencia

Five senior administrators at a private Christian school in the US state of Texas have been arrested after they failed to report the alleged sexual assault of a teenager.

School superintendent Jared Lee, secondary school principal Dana Ellis, secondary assistant principal Matthew Counts, athletic director and head football coach Gregory McClendon and baseball coach Barry Russell have been charged with failure to report with intent to conceal neglect or abuse.

According to court documents, a student was allegedly assaulted with a baseball bat in the locker room as he was told it was part of "freshman initiation day".

The teenager told Midland police he entered the locker room to change when the lights suddenly turned off. He said he heard someone say it was “freshman initiation day” and someone began to hit him.

He was then allegedly sexually assaulted with a baseball bat by another student.  The victim told school officials what happened the following day, but nothing came of it, the court documents said.

It’s understood all five administrators at Midland Christian School knew about the allegations but did not report them.

The group are out of jail on bail.

In a statement, the school 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.

“The physical, spiritual, and emotional safety of our students is the most important responsibility we bear as educators and one we take seriously. We appreciate the support and prayers of our Midland Christian parents, faculty, staff, and students as we continue leading, building, and equipping for Christ.”

If found guilty, each administrator could face fines of $10,000 (£7,339) and up to two years in prison.

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