Multiple Administrators On Leave Following Alleged Groping Report

By Kelly Werthmann

DENVER (CBS4)– At least four Denver Public Schools administrators are on leave amid an investigation into an alleged sexual assault of a South High School student.

south hs letter 10pkg transfer frame 0 Multiple Administrators On Leave Following Alleged Groping Report

(credit: CBS)

DPS is not releasing much information on the matter, but shared a letter with South High School families last Friday notifying them Principal Jen Hanson and student advisor Lynette Lucero were placed on administrative leave on Thursday.

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South HS Principal Jen Henson (credit: CBS)

CBS4 has also confirmed Instructional Superintendent Sean Precious and Barbara Downing were placed on leave Friday.

Police tell CBS4 they are investigating whether school officials followed state law with an alleged incident of reporting “inappropriate touching” between students.

south hs letter 10pkg transfer frame 210 Multiple Administrators On Leave Following Alleged Groping Report

(credit: CBS)

The letter from DPS sent last week states there is information about concerns at the school that need “a closer look.”

A source close to the investigation told CBS4 the concerns surround an alleged assault that happened during the school’s homecoming bonfire on Sept. 17.

south hs letter 10pkg transfer frame 966 Multiple Administrators On Leave Following Alleged Groping Report

(credit: CBS)

The source said male students forcibly groped a 17-year-old senior, and she reported the assault to school staff within a couple days.

However, Denver police are investigating if administrators complied with the mandatory obligation to report abuse to authorities right away.

south hs letter 10pkg transfer frame 2076 Multiple Administrators On Leave Following Alleged Groping Report

Letter sent home to South High School families (credit: CBS)

According to DPD spokesman Sonny Jackson, they were made aware of the alleged assault on Sept. 27, nearly two weeks later.

Police also tell CBS4 the parents of the student reportedly assaulted are not pressing charges against the other students.

CBS4 has repeatedly asked DPS for comment regarding the incident, but say they cannot comment further.

DPS spokesman Will Jones responded by email:

“We are committed to providing as much information about this as we can to our families and community. This case involves personnel matters. At this time, we cannot say anything more than what is in the letter.”

According to Colorado’s Mandatory Reporting law, all officials and employees of a public school are required to report child abuse if they “have reasonable cause to know or suspect that a child has been subjected to abuse or neglect.” C.R.S. § 19-3-304.

Kelly Werthmann joined the CBS4 team as the morning reporter in 2012. After serving as weekend morning anchor, Kelly is now Covering Colorado First for CBS4 News at 10. Connect with Kelly on Facebook or follow her on Twitter @KellyCBS4.

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