CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The Mingo County prosecutor has filed juvenile charges against two boys in connection with an ongoing investigation into alleged sexual abuse at a middle school and the school’s alleged failure to investigate.
Prosecuting Attorney Teresa Maynard filed “delinquency proceedings” against two juveniles who were students at Burch Middle School, she said Sunday.
“If they were adults, [they] would be criminal charges,” Maynard said.
She said she could not disclose the specific nature of the charges because the boys involved are juveniles, but she said the charges were consistent with what was described in a filing made earlier this month by state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey.
Morrisey filed a civil rights injunction against school and county officials for failing to investigate allegations of sexual abuse made by two girls against the two boys. Morrisey’s filing also says school officials retaliated against the girls who reported the alleged abuse.
Maynard said no charges have been filed against any adults in relation to the allegations, but that investigations were ongoing and she could not provide further comment.
She said her office is investigating in conjunction with the Attorney General’s Office and the West Virginia State Police.
The two girls, seventh- and eighth-graders at the time, said they were restrained, grabbed and groped by two male students on the school bus and in the school’s computer lab, according to Morrisey’s filing. One of the girls also said she was sexually assaulted during a school field trip to Charleston, according to the filing.
One of the boys’ relatives was involved in handling the investigation into the allegations, the filing says.
Morrisey’s filing says the school’s principal, vice principal, guidance counselor, an athletic coach and the superintendent of Mingo County Schools failed to report or investigate the charges and did not meaningfully punish the male students.
Morrisey’s injunction essentially asks that the school officials and the boys and their families have no contact with the two girls while police investigate.
“Every action taken by defendants was either to minimalize the allegations against the boys and/or to protect the alleged male juvenile perpetrators,” according to the filing, signed by Assistant Attorney General J. Robert Leslie.
Reach David Gutman at firstname.lastname@example.org or 304-348-5119.