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After being arrested for allegedly concealing a sexual assault, a grand jury decides to not indict top Midland Christian School officials

Mitch Borden
Marfa Public Radio
Midland Christian School has grown over the past 65 years from a school that served a handful of students to hundreds.

A Midland grand jury has decided to not indict several top officials at Midland Christian School for not reporting and attempting to conceal the sexual assault of a student, according to local media.

On Feb. 16, the school’s superintendent Jared Lee and former head football coach Greg McClendon, along with three other officials, were arrested for what court documents say was a failure to “report an apparent sexual assault on campus to the proper authorities.” But it was announced on Wednesday a grand jury determined there was not enough evidence for those charges to be brought forward.

In light of the decision, Aaron Eckman, McClendon’s attorney, is now calling for an investigation into how the Midland Police Department handled the case.

In a press release, Eckman wrote, “Professional lives were sullied and ruined by poorly investigated accusations and a calculated public arrest to garner media attention.” He continued, “Five lives are forever changed because of a rush to judgment by the police and the public.”

Following the February arrests, there was an immense public outcry: former students came forward to detail what they believe are problematic practices at the Christian school, while some Midlanders came to the school’s defense. Later that month, at another local private school, four administrators were arrested on similar charges, and in April, McClendon resigned from his position at Midland Christian.

Midland Mayor Patrick Payton, responded to the grand jury’s decision by holding a late-night press c onference on Wednesday where he read a written statement.

“I believe in the men and women in blue and our legal and justice system here in Midland.” He stated, “That does not mean we won’t continue evaluating and taking a good, hard look at why we did what we did.”

However, Payton did not elaborate on what steps the City of Midland is taking to look into this situation.

Mitch Borden is Permian Basin Reporter & Producer at Marfa Public Radio.