Top Trinity School Of Midland Officials indicted for allegedly attempting to conceal sexual abuse

In February, four administrators at the private Christian school were arrested after a former student detailed to police how they had been previously abused by a classmate for months — and how school officials did not act after being informed of the situation.

Earlier this year, four administrators at Trinity School of Midland were arrested for allegedly attempting to conceal the sexual assault of a student. Now a grand jury has indicted them on state jail felonies. (Mitch Borden / Marfa Public Radio)

By Mitch Borden

A Midland grand jury has indicted four administrators at a private Christian school in Midland for allegedly attempting to conceal the abuse of a student in 2019.

Shelby Hammer, the head of Trinity School of Midland as well as Dean of Students Todd Freese, the Head of Middle School Chrystal Myers and Assistant Director of Admissions Adrienne Clifton were indicted on state jail felony charges Wednesday and could now face up to two years in a state jail.

Midland police first arrested the officials in February after a former student, referred to as B.B. in court documents, came forward to law enforcement detailing how they had been sexually abused by a classmate for months.

B.B. told investigators that the last time her classmate assaulted her was on Dec. 17, 2019, during a class they both attended. After this incident, B.B. told a friend what had happened and they informed Freese of the situation.

School staff then conducted an internal investigation, but did not contact the proper authorities within 48 hours of learning about the alleged abuse, which is required by state law. Eventually, the student’s parents removed her from the private school.

After her departure, court documents say Hammer offered to refund B.B.’s parents a portion of the tuition they had already paid if they would sign a “Confidential Waiver and Release of all Claims.” After consulting with an attorney however, B.B.’s parents chose not to sign the agreement because they “did not want to take away the right from [B.B.] to talk about what happened to her.”

In late February, B.B. and their parents came forward to law enforcement about the incident, encouraged by the arrest of top officials at Midland Christian School, another private school in the area, for allegedly trying to conceal the sexual assault of a student, according to Midland’s Police Chief Seth Herman.

The charges against those administrators at Midland Christian were eventually dropped, but now those officials are suing the City of Midland as well as the officers involved in the investigation over alleged police misconduct.

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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