Asst. principal charged with not reporting attempted sex abuse - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Asst. principal charged with not reporting attempted sex abuse

Principal Willie Lee Tobias Principal Willie Lee Tobias

By Jason Miles - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - It's enough to rattle the nerves of many parents at Wooddale Middle School.

"It can't be swept under the rug," said one mother who did not want to be identified.

She was unaware that attempted sexual abuse against a 13 year-old girl went unreported because an administrator may not have bothered calling police.

"That's ridiculous," she said.  "We're supposed to be notified. Police, and then parents, period!"

The District Attorney's Office approved a misdemeanor charge against assistant principal Willie Lee Tobias Tuesday for violating his duty to report child sex abuse.

Investigators say the young girl was attacked by two male students after refusing to perform a sex act.  They say the victim was struck about the face and body with kicks and closed fists by the two suspects.

According to court records, two witnesses were present when the victim told Tobias about what happened to her.

"If things like this are going on in the system and at my child's school," said the concerned mother.  "It should be reported and we should know what's going on."

The District Attorney taped a video over the summer for MCS employees in an attempt to clear up misconceptions.

"Failure to report is a crime under Tennessee law," Gibbons says in the video.

But Tobias is the third administrator charged with breaking the law in just the last month.  Two others were accused to not reporting an assault at White Station High School.

Copyright 2009 WMC-TV. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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