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UPDATE: Employees Served in Civil Action Injunction

By: WSAZ News Staff Email
By: WSAZ News Staff Email

Click here to read the injunction

UPDATE 5/9/14 @ 5:00 p.m.
MINGO COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Employees at Burch Middle School and the Mingo County Board of Education, listed in a civil injunction, were served on Friday. All but one person listed in the injunction was served. That person is out of the state.

Burch Middle School would not comment on being served the by West Virginia Attorney Generals Office.

The Mingo County School Board sent the following statement: "Mingo County Board of Education was formally served this morning and plans to review the lawsuit and timely respond."

The injunction filed by the attorney generals office states two girls, who were seventh graders at the time, were repeatedly sexual assaulted by two boys on the bus, in class, and on a field trip. When the girls tried to report the abuse, school administrators retaliated against them.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest on this story.



ORIGINAL STORY 5/8/14 @ 11:57 p.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey filed a civil injunction in Mingo Circuit Court Thursday to protect two victims of alleged sexual abuse at a school.

West Virginia State Police are investigating allegations that two female students from Burch Middle School have been sexually assaulted by two male students at the school.

According to the Attorney General, the students were threatened with discipline or retaliatory actions by school administrators if they proceeded with the investigation into what happened.

The Attorney General says the injunction is meant to clear the way for an investigation and protect the rights of the alleged victims. Thursday's civil injunction also claims that school policies were not followed and the female victims were denied due process to a fair investigation.

Among the defendants listed in the civil injunction is the Mingo Co. School Board, administrators at Burch Middle School, and a teacher.

One part of this injunction deals specifically with reporting abuse in a timely manner and possible cover-up.

According to the injunction, the former principal at the school told one of the victim's parents not to call police, that she would take care of it.

It wasn't until a year later that the victim's parents say they discovered police had never been called.

We looked into West Virginia law and county school policy, which says "Any person over the age of 18 who receives a disclosure from a credible witness or observes any sexual abuse or sexual assault of a child, shall immediately, and not more than 48 hours after receiving such a disclosure or observing the sexual abuse or sexual assault, report the circumstances or cause a report to be made to the Department of Health and Human Resources or the State Police or other law-enforcement agency having jurisdiction to investigate the report."

Sabrina Penner's daughter in 6th grade at Burch. She says if the allegations prove to be true that proper action was not taken after sexual abuse was reported, she's not sure she'll want to continue sending her child there.

"I don't like it very well at all, her going up there to school and all that is going on, knowing that she could be one," Penner said.

We spoke with West Virginia State Police Thursday night about this investigation.

Lieutenant Michael Baylous says the Crimes Against Children unit is handling this along with the Human Rights Commission.

Baylous says they are aware of at least one alleged incident and are looking into whether there are more.

He says there is a sense of urgency with this case because if a misdemeanor charge needs to be filed it has to be done before the statute of limitations, which runs out after one year.

Baylous says he believes a decision on whether charges will be filed will be made soon.


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