Midland Christian School educators accused of failing to report sexual assault file lawsuit against city, police

Published: Aug. 30, 2022 at 1:10 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 30, 2022 at 6:55 PM CDT
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MIDLAND, Texas (KCBD) - Five educators from Midland Christian School have filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the City of Midland, the Midland Police Department and Midland Police Detective Jennie Alonzo claiming the group was wrongfully arrested after false allegations they failed to report a sexual assault in January 2022.

Former Superintendent Jared Lee, former Principal Dana Ellis, former Assistant Principal Matthew Counts, former Athletic Director Greg McClendon and former Head Baseball Coach Barry Russell were all exonerated by a Midland County grand jury 90 days after the alleged sexual assault happened.

According to the lawsuit, a sophomore baseball player “poked a freshman on his buttocks—over the clothes— with a bat.” The suit claims the school’s investigation determined what happened was “locker room horseplay” among the players. The lawsuit states “in speaking with those involved, no evidence whatsoever emerged of a sexual assault.”

About a week later, the incident was then reported to police after rumors about what happened started to circulate throughout the school, according to the lawsuit. The Midland Christian Five accuses law enforcement of carrying out an investigation on an “unsupported rumor”. The group claims they were wrongfully arrested and humiliated by law enforcement.

The freshman received a sexual assault exam and, according to the lawsuit, “the exam indicated there was no injury and that no trauma was observed.” The lawsuit states at no time did any school official have reasonable cause to believe the freshman had been sexually assaulted.

The filing also accuses Det. Alonzo of swearing to information she knew to be false in an arrest warrant affidavit. According to the suit, the former educators were charged with purportedly failing to report and conceal child abuse.

The group of educators is seeking compensatory damages for “the deprivation of liberty, reputational harm, public humiliation” and damages “for mental and emotional distress”. They are also requesting a trial by jury.

Midland Complaint - Filed by KCBD Digital on Scribd