DENVER (CBS4) – Denver Public School Board Director Tay Anderson will step back from everyday board duties during the investigation into claims he sexually assaulted dozens of students who were undocumented immigrants.
“These false claims have put my family and [me] in harms way,” Anderson tweeted. “I must protect those I love first, therefore I will be stepping back from everyday board functions until the completion of the independent investigation.”
“I am confident the ongoing investigation will prove what I have said from day one and that is I have never sexually assaulted anyone,” Anderson stated. “I look forward to returning in the coming months to continue the fight for Denver students.”
Anderson’s fellow DPS Board members agreed with his decision to step back from routine board functions and events until the conclusion of the investigation authorized by the Board on April 6.
However, Director Anderson will continue to vote on necessary matters — including the hiring of a new superintendent.
The school board encouraged anyone with relevant information to reach out to the Investigations Law Group at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“It is critically important that all individuals feel safe and supported to participate in this process,” officials stated. “We seek the truth and are committed to a fair and thorough process for all currently involved and anyone who is considering whether they should step forward.”
Last week, Mary Brooks Fleming, a mother of three students within the Denver Public School district, testified during a legislative committee at the state legislature saying a person in the district was sexually assaulting and targeting more than 60 children. She did not name the individual.
Fleming testified some of the children were violently raped by the employee and, in some case, asked to sign a non-disclosure agreement.
“Individuals were coming to my home asking for medical attention. One was as young as 14 and needed stitches. All in all, 61 high school students and one recent graduates would turn to me for help,” Fleming said. “Sixty-two victims as young as 14! Sixty-one were undocumented or dreamers. All were so afraid of this one man.”
The DPS school board released a statement Friday night acknowledging the accusations were against Anderson, and confirmed Denver police was also aware of the allegations. Police investigators have spoken with Fleming about her comments, but have not heard from any victims.
Anderson has been under investigation since April for a previous sexual assault allegation.
Anderson denied the accusations, and Denver police told CBS4 no report had been filed.
Anderson was elected to the board in 2019. He released his own statement saying in part, “These allegations are troubling and must be investigated. We must ensure Denver Public Schools is a safe space for all students, and we must build systems in our district that continually protect our students from any possibility of harm while in our care.”
Anderson’s attorney, Christopher Decker, provided the following statement to CBS4 on Monday:
“Director Anderson categorically denies the most recent allegations which have been made against him. He looks forward to defending himself from these false claims just as soon as they emerge from anonymity into the light of fair investigation. To date, not a single allegation against Director Anderson has provided any time, place, individual, or details to which he can even respond. When and if this occurs, he will respond with specifics and corroborating evidence.
“To date, no law enforcement agency or government agency has reached out to Director Anderson with any specifics of any of these claims. To the extent that Ms. Mary-Katherine Brooks Fleming has publicly stated that 62 victims have come to her claiming abuse ranging from unwanted touching to violent rapes, Director Anderson specifically denies any unlawful touching or assaults during his brief time as a teacher and since his election to the DPS Board. These acts never happened. Not a single child, parent, therapist, teacher, police officer, doctor, or individual has come forth to substantiated these incredible assertions.
“Director Anderson implores DPS counsel to respond immediately to Ms. Brooks Flemings allegations that DPS staff and legal counsel herself engaged in a criminal coverup to include the use of nondisclosure agreements to silence dozens of victims who are current DPS students. Director Anderson has no knowledge of, or participation in, such a vile claim of silencing child sexual assault victims.
“Finally, Director Anderson is saddened that so many have rushed to judgments about these inflammatory accusations. All he asks for is a fair, responsible, and thorough investigation. He knows this will exonerate him. He continues to cooperate with the private investigation initiated by DPS and will cooperate with any criminal investigation which may be underway.
“As his attorney, I am particularly concerned that while absolutely no details or facts have been released regarding any of these claims, it appears that many have already presumed his guilt, vilified him, and ignored his significant contributions to the DPS community. All this before any specifics, details, charges or findings. I ask you to remember that we are a nation of laws and principles. These must not be eclipsed by unproved and anonymous allegations regardless of their number or nature.
“The truth will be revealed and Director Anderson will be cleared of these poisonous and false claims.”