Defense attorney Robert Lindemeier said Wednesday that top officials at Maxwell school found no reasonable cause that a child had been subjected to sexual abuse, after a thorough investigation. A week ago, Maxwell school Superintendent Dan Twarling, High School Principal and Activities Director Aub Boucher and Wrestling Coach Ryan Jones were cited for failure to report sexual abuse, a misdemeanor.
The Nebraska State Patrol handed out the citations, related to suspected assaults among boys on the wrestling team.
The suprising announcement sparked speculation about the extent of the alleged abuse.
Lindemeier responded on his clients' behalf, issuing a prepared statement.
“These individuals maintain that they followed school policy and Nebraska law,” Lindemeier said. “They obtained accounts of what happened from several students. They investigated the allegations and determined there was no reasonable cause that a child had been subjected to abuse.”
The alleged victim and his mother told the school employees more than once that the abuse did not happen, and “currently, the alleged victim and his mother deny any abuse ever took place,” Lindemeier said.
A video that allegedly was taken of three wrestlers abusing another wrestler at a 2011 camp has not been produced, Lindemeier said.
“The woman who reported the video said it was on the victim’s phone,” he said. “She actually never saw the video, but was only told about it. When the school was made aware of the video, they investigated. Among questioning several students, they directly asked the alleged victim and his mother about the video. They were told the video did not exist.”
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. On July 30, investigators obtained a warrant to search administrative records.
Twarling, Boucher and Jones were cited on Sept. 4.
In announcing the citations, the State Patrol said there is potential for more victims, citations and/or arrests.
Lindemeier said his clients investigated appropriately and have cooperated with law enforcement during the State Patrol investigation.
He said there was never any attempt to cover up any abuse.
“All allegations of abuse are taken seriously by the Maxwell High School employees. They believe they have followed the proper steps in this case,” Lindemeier said.