Criminal probe into allegations of bullying and sex crimes at a Churubusco school will be turned over to special prosecutor
WHITLEY COUNTY, Ind. (Fort Wayne’s NBC) - Huntington County Prosecutor Jeremy Nix is now expected to make the decision on whether criminal charges are warranted in an October 12 incident at Churubusco Middle School where it is alleged that several students had been urinated on and possibly sexually assaulted.
Whitley County Prosecutor D.J. Sigler was in line to handle the case but he filed a petition for Nix to assume responsibility, saying he has worked closely with Smith Green school officials, including Superintendent Daniel Hile, and wants to avoid the appearance of conflict of interest.
“I think in every community there’s some concern when you have a high profile public case that there are relationships behind the scenes that could impact a prosecution. I didn’t want any of that. I want the community to feel like a fair deal was done even if they don’t necessarily agree with it,” Sigler said.
We visited Hile’s office Friday to see if disciplinary actions had been carried out against any students in connection with the incident October 12.
We were told Hile was gone for the day.
October 21, more than a week after the alleged bullying occurred, Superintendent Hile addressed the matter in a youtube video, denying that school leaders have shielded any offenders from accusations of wrongdoing.
“Several members of our community have shared concerns on social media that certain students may receive special treatment or perhaps don’t receive consequences in line with others. Not only is this completely false, but absolutely contrary to everything that I and this school district stands for,” Hile said in the youtube video.
A petition drive has been started on change.org, seeking removal of Hile from office.
Ashley Macy, who spearheaded the effort, wrote in the petition, “He (Hile) is not the right person to keep our children safe. It has been seen in the past nine years at least, that he lets certain individuals skate under the radar. These kids will never learn and their bullying keeps escalating. What’s next?”
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