The Tennessee Department of children services has opened a new investigation into allegations at Brentwood Academy.
A lawsuit claiming a student was raped and sexually assaulted by other students in 2014-15 and that it was handled improperly spurred current interest. Thursday it was
announced that the Department of Children’s Services (DCS) has opened a new investigation into Brentwood Academy.
“Based on new information from Wednesday night the DCS opened a new investigation into allegations made at Brentwood Academy … but because of child privacy laws no more information can be given out,” Ron Johnson, DCS spokesperson said.
He would not say if it is related to the alleged 2015 incident. However, the lawyer who filed the suit told the Williamson Source he received evidence of sexual incidents from 2013.
The DCS investigation lasts 60 days and then must make a report and recommendation.
A Child Protective Investigative Team (CPIT), made up of a DCS agent, a local law enforcement investigator, a District Attorney investigator, along with a member of the DCS local child advocacy center, are on the team.
The police, the Brentwood Police Department in this case according to Johnson, looks to see if a crime was committed while the DA representative looks to see what charges might be needed, and the different agencies’ representative works together at the same time gathering evidence.
“All of this is to ensure the least time a child needs to be interviewed,” Johnson said.
At the end of 60 days, the investigation may lead to charges or other actions.
The BPD has its own ongoing investigation.
“We continue to have an ongoing open investigation and will always cooperate with and assist DCS in any way possible,” BPD Assistant Chief Tommy Walsh said.
DCS had done an investigation in April 2015, but because of privacy laws, Johnson could not say what came of it.
“Certainly, Brentwood Academy would cooperate with authorities on any investigation, as we have done in the past,” Susan Schafer, Communications Director for BA, wrote in an e-mail.
Roland Munford, the attorney representing the student and his mother who filed a suit against BA on Aug 4, sent the Williamson Source the following statement:
“We appreciate DCS investigating facts surrounding the sexual assault of my client. We look forward to the police pursuing their investigation and bringing justice to our clients. I ask that members of the public continue to contact my office with any information and/or contact Brentwood Police. Families of Williamson County are called upon to please summon the courage to contact us about what they know given the school is in the community. We have received additional evidence demonstrating inappropriate sexual acts in the locker room that occurred in fall 2013 that was reported to the school. Not as bad as this but inappropriate touching. This satisfies a major foreseeability argument. We have a second witness to show the school was in fact told about a sexual assault in May 2015 which negates their denials. We await justice for this child. The community knows the truth.”