Prosecuting Attorney Matt Durrett’s decision to bring no charges against Huntsville school officials for failing to report sexual abuse of basketball players in has drawn a blast from his opponent in a run for re-election this year.
My opponent on Monday stated that he is not going to charge the Huntsville School superintendent, principal, head coach and athletic director for any crime. It was said that our current law is insufficient to bring charges. This is just plain wrong.
— Stephen Coger (@stephen4ar) April 21, 2022
Durrett said the abuse reported by students didn’t fall into the categories under which reports to a child abuse hotline were required. I
In what was apparently a long-practiced hazing ritual in Huntsville, basketball players held down a player while another player attempted to put his genitals in the face of the player being held down. Durrett said this didn’t fit the definition of abuse or sexual abuse under the statute. Sexual abuse must involve gratification, the report said, and abuse requires a report if the act was done by a parent, guardian, or certain others. But Durrett said this case didn’t apply because it involved students.
Lawsuits continue over the school district’s response to parents’ complaints. District school board members and others have been roundly criticized in media over the handling of the case.
Coger is the director of the agency we mentioned earlier today that has struck an agreement with Tyson Foods to provide legal aid to immigrant workers.
It’s a good issue, though most likely hottest in Huntsville. The major part of the population of the district is in Washington County, where the prosecutor is based.
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