Five Christian School Officials Hid Horrific Locker Room Sex Assault, Police Say_freckle removal circa 1930

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Five Christian School Officials Hid Horrific Locker Room Sex Assault, Police Say

Justin Rohrlich·4 min read
Midland County Sheriff’s Office
Midland County Sheriff’s Office

Five officials at a private Christian academy in Texas are facing felony charges over accusations they failed to notify authorities after a ninth-grader reported being sexually assaulted by an older student during a hazing incident on “freshman initiation day.”

The three administrators and two athletic coaches at Midland Christian School are identified in an arrest warrant affidavit obtained by The Daily Beast as Superintendent Jared Owen Lee, secondary school Principal Dana Elizabeth Ellis, athletic director Gregory Neal McClendon, assistant secondary school principal Matthew David Counts, and baseball coach Barry Lee Russell.

“We are motivated in all facets by our faith in Jesus Christ, attempting to serve as a reflection of God’s unconditional love for all people,” Midland Christian’s website proclaims. “We seek to honor the Lord in all that we do by operating Midland Christian School in a manner consistent with Biblical principles. It is important to us that every word and deed engaged in by Midland Christian School, its employees, representatives, volunteers, and students be consistent with and in furtherance of Midland Christian School’s religious purposes: both publicly and privately.”

But the five school officials apparently did not live up to those tenets following the alleged January attack, which was first exposed by the Midland Reporter-Telegram.

On Jan. 28, a detective with the Midland Police Department was notified about a “possible sexual assault of a child” that had occurred eight days earlier after baseball practice at Midland Christian.

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In an interview with authorities, the unnamed victim said he had just stepped into the locker room to get changed when the lights were turned off. Someone said it was “freshman initiation day,” and a 10th-grader began hitting the ninth-grader.

The ninth-grader’s hands were pinned down, and he was flipped over onto his back, the affidavit states. He was then sexually assaulted with a baseball bat as other students looked on and cheered, it says.


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