New info on TUSD vice-principal and counselor arrests for failure to report sex abuse

TUCSON (KGUN9 -TV) -
We are learning more about why Tucson Police arrested a TUSD vice principal and counselor on Tuesday.
     
Police booked Bernadette Rosthen-Hausler and Linda Archuleta into the Pima County jail on a charge of failing to report sexual abuse -- a violation of state law. 
 
For a year now, KGUN9 has investigated claims by staff of administrators not reporting serious issues, like assaults and sexual misconduct, after the district moved to a more lenient discipline policy to reduce suspensions and expulsion. 
 
Remember the case at Cholla High School in October when the school waited a week to report a teacher who touched a student's breast. Police arrested the teacher, Eddie Rodriguez, and charged him with sexual abuse.
 
This case at Robert's Naylor is similar -- this time involving two 12-year-olds. 
 
KGUN9 obtained more information from the interim complaint filed in Justice Court. 
 
March 1st, when the teacher steps out of the classroom, a fight breaks out after a boy grabs a girl's breast.
 
That's sexual abuse -- a violation of state law.     
 
TPD says the teacher immediately told the vice-principal, who began investigating, but did not notify police. 
 
The vice principal called the mother -- who met with both the vice principal and the counselor. The court document reveals the mother wanted to prosecute for the sexual abuse, but the vice principal and counselor told her they didn't have to call police.
 
TPD assistant Chief Ramon Batista disagrees. "Everything from improper touching, to sexual assault to assault are all areas where mandatory reporting comes into play."
 
What does the district have to say? Assistant Superintendent Abel Morado couldn't talk about the specifics in this case, but said, "The administrator has a defined duty to report immediately if an administrator believes the law has been broken." 
 
The court documents show the mother contacted police. The investigating TPD officer says the boy admitted he intentionally grabbed the victim's breast.
 
Both staff members admitted to police they were aware they are mandatory reporters under state law and did not contact 9-1-1.
 
"I can't get into the specific details because it's an ongoing investigation, but the circumstance surrounding this case were of such an egregious nature and such clear cut violation of state law and district's policies that we felt it needed our immediate attention," said Batista.
 
So TPD arrested both women for failure to report a reportable offense -- a class 6 felony.
 
Batista said timing is critical.
 
"That they (young victims) are interviewed in the most careful manner by a dedicated trained experts in that field. I can't tell you enough how important it is that we have cooperation from school officials when something like this happens because it's the children we are trying to protect."   
 
Batista said it's vitally important for parents to ask school administrators if they've contacted police if they feel there's been a severe violation. The vice principal and counselor are on home assignment pending the outcome of both investigations.
 
KGUN9 attempted to reach the vice principal but could not. The counselor declined to comment. 
 
KGUN9 received the following statement on behalf of many of the staff at Roberts-Naylor on Thursday afternoon:
 
We are writing on behalf of the Roberts Naylor community.  The recent allegations against and arrest of our school counselor and vice principal have left us devastated.  These two women have always done their best to ensure the safety and well-being of all that enter our school. They both work long hours and have made our school community a better place.   We feel it is important that you and the Tucson community know that both of these women are well respected, dedicated, and trusted educators.  It was very difficult for our close knit community to see them portrayed as criminals for allegedly failing to report an incident.  Those who know them will tell you they are caring educators who should be revered and applauded for their years of good work.

 

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