DENVER -- Denver prosecutors have filed criminal charges against five current or former East High School staff members, including the former principal, for failing to report to law enforcement an alleged sexual assault by a student on another student.
Those charged with misdemeanor counts on Monday include Andy Mendelsberg, who retired in September as principal of the school in the wake of a report that said he failed to act on parent complaints that the school’s cheerleading coach physically forced girls into the splits.
The new case is not connected to the cheerleading scandal, said Ken Lane, the spokesman for Denver District Attorney Beth McCann.
Also charged with third-degree misdemeanor violations of persons required to report: Jann Peterson, vice principal; Jen Sculley, dean; Anita Curtiss, counselor; and Eric Sinclair, dean. All five were served summons to make their initial court appearance on Monday. The charges still are pending.
Mendelsberg declined to comment Tuesday. Current principal John Youngquist declined to comment and referred questions to Denver Public Schools officials. Efforts to reach the other charged staff members were not immediately successful.
Denver7 has obtained a letter sent home to parents of East High School students, and has received the following comments about this story from DPS and the district attorney's office:
"I can confirm that the 5 persons named in the news story were served with a summons yesterday afternoon (first appearance in May), each charged with one count of violation of persons required to report (M3). The charge is in connection with failing to report an alleged sexual assault of a student by another student (both juveniles) that occurred off-campus in March 2016, after being informed of the alleged incident. DPD began an investigation into the alleged assault and failure to report in November 2017 when the victim's parents contacted the police." -Ken Lane, spokesperson for Denver District Attorney's Office
We know how important it is to ensure that any student who has concerns about inappropriate or unlawful sexual behavior be fully supported and that concerns about abuse be promptly reported to law enforcement. We shave strong policies and procedures in place to support students and are committed to ensuring a safe learning environment in our schools. Our records indicate that the district did notify the Denver Police Department of this incident in March 2016. We will continue to work with the police and District Attorney going forward to understand better their concerns in this case. -Will Jones, spokesperson for Denver Public Schools