After being arrested for allegedly concealing a sexual assault, a grand jury decides to not indict top Midland Christian School officials

Five Midland Christian School officials, including the school’s superintendent, were facing state felony charges for not reporting and attempting to conceal the sexual assault of a student. But, a grand jury has now determined there is not enough evidence to pursue a criminal case and a lawyer representing one of the accused officials is questioning how the police handled their investigation. 

(Mitch Borden / Marfa Public Radio)

By Mitch Borden 

A Midland grand jury has decided to not indict several top officials at Midland Christian School for not reporting and attempting to conceal the sexual assault of a student, according to local media.

On Feb. 16, the school’s superintendent Jared Lee and former head football coach Greg McClendon, along with three other officials, were arrested for what court documents say was a failure to “report an apparent sexual assault on campus to the proper authorities.” But it was announced on Wednesday a grand jury determined there was not enough evidence for those charges to be brought forward.

In light of the decision, Aaron Eckman, McClendon’s attorney, is now calling for an investigation into how the Midland Police Department handled the case.

In a press release, Eckman wrote, “Professional lives were sullied and ruined by poorly investigated accusations and a calculated public arrest to garner media attention.” He continued, “Five lives are forever changed because of a rush to judgment by the police and the public.”

Following the February arrests, there was an immense public outcry: former students came forward to detail what they believe are problematic practices at the Christian school, while some Midlanders came to the school’s defense. Later that month, at another local private school, four administrators were arrested on similar charges, and in April, McClendon resigned from his position at Midland Christian.

Midland Mayor Patrick Payton, responded to the grand jury’s decision by holding a late-night press conference on Wednesday where he read a written statement.

“I believe in the men and women in blue and our legal and justice system here in Midland.” He stated, “That does not mean we won’t continue evaluating and taking a good, hard look at why we did what we did.”

However, Payton did not elaborate on what steps the City of Midland is taking to look into this situation.

About Mitch Borden

Mitch Borden is Marfa Public Radio's Permian Basin Reporter. If you have any questions about West Texas' energy industry or the Permian Basin email him at mitch@marfapublicradio.org.
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