Huntsville School District faces more scrutiny from sexual abuse allegations

KNWA

HUNTSVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — An amended criminal complaint was filed Friday by attorney Joey McCutchen against the district for violating the Freedom of Information Act.

The Huntsville School District continues to face scrutiny after some basketball players were accused of sexually assaulting teammates. McCutchen filed the amended complaint after the district did not give out text messages between school administrators about the allegations. The district told him it was because of privacy laws. However, after McCutchen saw that a local newspaper was given the same text messages he asked for, he filed the amended complaint.

“It feels like there is an intentional violation of FOIA, why were the records provided to news media and not to a parent of a student in district,” McCutchen said.

McCutchen represents two Huntsville parents. He said the school district needs to be held accountable for its actions in the sexual abuse allegations.

“On numerous issues the district has betrayed the the trust of parents like Ben and Rebecca,” McCutchen said.

Huntsville parent, Rebecca Nelle, said the events that occurred within the basketball team are saddening and she wants to make sure it never happens to another child.

“It’s terribly upsetting to think I send my kid to school thinking he’s going to be taken care of during the hours of 7:00 am to 7:00 pm when he‘s in sports or in classrooms and he was not,” Nelle said.

McCutchen has also asked the Madison County Prosecutor to investigative when school administrators called the Child Abuse Hotline after learning about the sexual abuse allegations. The mandated reporter law states that a person must immediately call the hotline after learning about possible sexual assault incidents if they are a mandated reporter.

“I’m asking the prosecuting attorney to investigate the mandating reporter situation and hold those accountable,” McCutchen said.

KNWA/FOX 24 reached out to Huntsville School District for comment and was directed to the district’s attorney, but we weren’t able to reach them.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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