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Maxwell school officials cited for failure to report child abuse (UPDATED 6:15 p.m. Friday) Tell North Platte what you think
Photo by Bulletin file photo
Dan Twarling

Three Maxwell school officials were cited Tuesday for failure to report alleged child abuse among 2-4 members of the 2011 wrestling team.

The three cited were Superintendent Dan Twarling, 61, High School Principal and Activities Director Aubrey Boucher, 47, and Wrestling Coach Ryan Jones, 35.

One assault allegedly occurred at a wrestling camp in the summer of 2011, attended by four Maxwell students. One student was allegedly sodomized by one Maxwell student with a pop bottle while he was held down by the other two.

The adults were at a coaches' meeting at the time, the alleged victim told a State Patrol investigator.

When the coach learned about it, he told the boys to quit jacking around and that that stuff needed to be stopped, the alleged victim told investigators.

Several months later, the same student was allegedly assaulted when another Maxwell student grabbed his penis on a school bus, according to the investigator's request for a search warrant.

At that time, the adults were at the front of the bus and didn't see it happen, the alleged victim told state investigators.

School officials investigated, but at least one parent was not satisified, and in April, the Nebraska State Patrol in conjunction with the Lincoln County Attorney’s Office and the State Health and Human Services Department picked up the investigation.

When the school investigated, Boucher questioned some of the students about the bus incident and took statements, which he voluntarily gave later to state patrol investigators, according to the request for search warrant.

Boucher said he didn't think the allegations had merit, according to the State Patrol investigator. At one point, Twarling also told the State Patrol that the school investigators determined that the allegations were unfounded.

But the woman told the State Patrol that she saw a video of the assault at the wrestling camp.

On July 30, a Lincoln County judge authorized investigators to search pertinent files from the school, including the personnel files of as many as nine Maxwell school officials.

According to the State Patrol, the initial investigation led to several more potential alleged sexual assault victims, but the Patrol did not say that anyone has been charged with assault.

The investigation remains “very active,” Lt. Lynn Williams of the State Patrol office in North Platte said Tuesday in a prepared statement. “There is potential for more victims and additional arrests or citations.”

The three Maxwell school officials were cited with failure "to make a report of child abuse or neglect" to law enforcement or to the Nebraska Health and Human Services department, the State Patrol said.

Failure to do so is a misdemeanor punishable by a maximum of three months in jail and a $500 fine.

Anyone with information that might aid in the investigation is asked to contact the Troop D Headquarters at 308-535-8047.

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The North Platte Bulletin - Published 9/7/2012
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