Home Christian News Five Officials at Texas Christian School Arrested for Alleged Sexual Assault Coverup

Five Officials at Texas Christian School Arrested for Alleged Sexual Assault Coverup

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Five officials from Midland Christian School, a private Christian academy in Midland, Texas, have been arrested after failing to report the sexual assault of a ninth grade student. The five, which include superintendent Jared Owen Lee, secondary school principal Dana Elizabeth Ellis, assistant secondary school principal Matthew David Counts, athletic director Gregory Neal McClendon, and baseball coach Barry Lee Russell, face felony charges.

According to the Daily Beast, police were notified on January 28 of a possible sexual assault of a Midland Christian student that allegedly occurred at the school eight days earlier on January 20. According to the unnamed victim, the assault was a part of a “freshman initiation day” on the school’s baseball team. 

The ninth grade victim said that he entered the locker room to change when the lights were shut off and a tenth grade student began physically assaulting him. The victim was forced onto the ground and commanded by teammates not to fight back. He was then sexually assaulted with a baseball bat as his teammates watched and cheered. 

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The victim reported to school officials that he had been assaulted by a teammate but says that nothing happened following his coming forward. 

When police questioned secondary school principal Dana Ellis on February 11, she said that the school was aware of the incident and that it had been documented. However, she told police that only superintendent Jared Lee had access to the file. When Lee refused to answer any of the police’s questions or hand over any documentation regarding the incident, police obtained a search warrant on February 14. 

This is when police discovered that Lee had ordered assistant secondary school principal Matthew Counts and athletic director Gregory McClendon to conduct an internal investigation regarding the incident. 

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By looking at the notes the two made in their investigation, as well as the email correspondence between the three school administrators and two athletic coaches (which also included baseball coach Barry Russell), it became clear to investigators that the five school officials understood that a sexual assault had occurred but had willfully decided not to report it. 

The five were arrested on Wednesday (February 16) and charged with Failure To Report With Intent To Conceal Neglect Or Abuse. They were subsequently released on $5,000 bond. The tenth grade student who was allegedly the perpetrator in the assault has also been arrested, but no other information is available at this time, as the student is a minor.