MIDLAND, Texas — The five Midland Christian employees who were accused of failing to report a sexual assault were no billed by a grand jury Wednesday, according to relatives of those involved in the case.
This means the grand jury did not think there was enough evidence to take the case to trial at this time, but they could be indicted later.
Barry Russell, Gregory McClendon, Matthew Counts, Jared Lee and Dana Ellis were all charged with Failure To Report With Intent To Conceal Neglect Or Abuse back in February.
The assault reportedly involved a sexual assault of a student by members of the baseball team at Christensen Stadium in January 2022.
Since the five were accused, Greg McClendon resigned as Athletic Director and head football coach. The school has not released information on resignation or firing of any of the other employees.
The school also appointed Kelly Moore as interim superintendent and Jerry Burleson as interim head baseball coach. Tim Anuszkiewicz, former defensive coordinator for Midland High School, took over as interim head football coach.
All five who were arrested were given a personal recognizance bond and were released around 24 hours after being detained.
According to the attorney for Jared Lee, the Midland Police Department submitted its report to the District Attorney's office around April 7.
McClendon's attorney Aaron Eckman released the following statement to the news:
The last three months have been the most difficult of Coach Gregory McClendon’s life. His faith has not wavered. He has remained steadfast in his Truth that he acted professionally, ethically, and morally in his handling of a rumor of an assault among student-athletes. He would like to thank everyone who has uplifted him, supported him, and helped him stay strong during this most difficult ordeal. His wife, his children, and his friends and supporters were pillars of strength and resolve to him. We would like to express our deepest gratitude to the Grand Jury of the 385th District Court for carefully reviewing the evidence before declining to indict our client Coach McClendon, and his four colleagues. We call upon the Midland City Council to initiate an independent review of the handling of the investigation by members of the Midland Police Department. Professional lives were sullied and ruined by poorly investigated accusations and a calculated public arrest to garner media attention. It is said that when you drag someone through the mud, they will get muddy. Five lives are forever changed because of a rush to judgment by the police and the public. Coach McClendon has devoted over 32 years to education – building students and student-athletes into young men and women of character, faith and resilience. While his tenure at Midland Christian School has come to end, he will continue to use his God-given gifts to help students and student-athletes realize their potential. “The righteous keep moving forward and those with clean hands become stronger and stronger.” Job 17:9