A Texas teacher and two aides have been arrested for allegedly molesting a 5-year-old boy with special needs in 2021.
Three instructors employed by the Liberty Independent School District (ISD) were taken into custody in mid-November for alleged crimes committed during an allegedly shocking incident on April 15, 2021. Teacher Melody Michel LaPointe, 47, and teaching assistants Tarah Michelle Tinney, 33, and Augusta Danielle Costlow, 27, have each been charged with four counts of abandoning or endangering a child in imminent danger of physical harm, a second-degree felony.
All three women were sentenced to the Liberty County Jail and their bail was set at $60,000 each. All three are reportedly out on bail.
The teacher and teaching assistants are accused of isolating a special needs student in a room at a Liberty Independent School District facility. The 5-year-old boy was deprived of food and began eating his own feces and drinking his own urine, according to court documents.
The three trainers were reportedly responsible for looking after the young victim.
The indictment identified the victim as “RW” and stated that the instructors were “willfully abandoned [R.W.] in a place under circumstances that are exposed [R.W.] an unreasonable risk of harm and in circumstances which a reasonable person would believe would place the child in imminent danger of death, personal injury, or physical or mental impairment.”
Law & Crime reported: “The document explains that the alleged conduct was ‘taking RW to an isolation room into which he had fallen and causing physical harm’ and then failing to ‘voluntarily deliver the child to a designated emergency infant caregiver.’ , as required by law.”
A spokesman for Liberty ISD issued a statement on the disturbing allegations.
We immediately reported the matter to law enforcement and the CPS, removed the educators who continued to work for us from the classroom, and conducted a full investigation. Based on our investigation, we reported the educators to the State Board for Educator Certification and shared our findings with law enforcement officials.
KTRK TV reported: “According to a spokesman for Liberty ISD, the two assistants were placed on administrative leave during the investigation last year and were fired after the investigation concluded. LaPointe, the main classroom teacher, was able to find work at another school. She recently worked as a teacher at Bonnie P. Hopper Primary School in Goose Creek CISD.”
On November 17, Hopper Primary School officials notified parents of the teacher’s arrest.
“In an effort to be fully transparent, we would like to inform our families of an incident that occurred yesterday during the discharge. A teacher at Bonnie P. Hopper Primary School was arrested by Liberty County police officers yesterday. The reason for the arrest occurred in Liberty County and is in no way affiliated with Goose Creek CISD. The teacher is currently on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation, after which the district will take appropriate disciplinary action. As this is a pending legal matter, Goose Creek CISD will allow the legal proceedings to proceed and refrain from further comment. We want to reassure our families that the safety of your children is our number one concern. We thank you for yours continued support of our campus and district.
https://www.theblaze.com/news/texas-teacher-arrested-child-abuse Texas teachers, aides arrested for child molestation on student