NewsCovering California


No charges after police probe alleged school sex assaults

Posted at 11:29 AM, Dec 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-20 14:29:22-05

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — The San Jose Police Department won’t bring any charges against officials at a high school accused of failing to report to authorities child sexual assault allegations against their staffers.

San Jose Police Lt. Brian Anderson said Thursday that the year-and-a-half criminal probe didn’t turn up sufficient evidence against Presentation High School administrators accused of not reporting alleged sexual assaults to police and conspiring to conceal sexual assault from law enforcement.

“We just don’t have even the foundation yet for a case, along (conspiracy) lines,” Anderson, the head of the police department’s sexual assault unit, told the Mercury News.

That conclusion frustrated and angered Kathryn Leehane, who alleges she was sexually assaulted at Presentation while a student there decades ago.

A letter Leehane wrote about her assault in the Washington Post in October 2017, at the height of the #MeToo women’s rights movement, prompted other former students to come forward with similar complaints from the mid-1970s into the early 2000s.

“They didn’t try their hardest,” Leehane said of the police investigation.

Meanwhile, an external investigation into claims of abuse launched by Presentation officials in September is ongoing, though Principal Holly Elkins didn’t respond to a request for comment to the newspaper about its status.

The school settled a lawsuit this month with one former student, Danielle Wood, who claimed she was sexually assaulted in 2004 by the school’s former theater director Jeff Hicks, according to a KNTV report. Wood was 15 at the time of the alleged assault.