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Ohio school security guard charged with rape had been reported by special needs student months ago

Posted: 8:43 PM, Dec 02, 2018
Updated: 2018-12-03 23:09:28-05

CLEVELAND — A Cleveland school security guard who was charged with rape, accused of soliciting and sexually assaulting multiple students, was reported for inappropriate behavior to Cleveland Metropolitan School District months before he was arrested. 

Derrick Dugger, 29, a security guard at East Technical High School in Cleveland is due back in court Tuesday morning for the charges. 

According to court records, investigators said he forced a 15-year-old girl to perform oral sex and sent inappropriate messages to students. A detective wrote in the report that Dugger was “predatory” and “a danger to these young ladies.”

Dugger was formally charged with rape last week after an investigation began earlier in November, but one Cleveland family told Scripps affiliate WEWS-TV that they reported him months before.

According to Joyce Swann, her 15-year-old daughter who has special needs made a complaint about Dugger soon after the school year began at East Technical High School.

A CMSD report of that complaint obtained by WEWS is dated September 7 — more than 2 months before Dugger was charged.

In the report, Swann’s daughter told the dean that at first, the guard asked her if she had a boyfriend and asked to check her phone. The next day, he greeted her by saying, “Good morning baby.”

After that, the student reported, the guard told her he “liked the way she twerked that a**” on Instagram.

The student said she felt uncomfortable and reported it to the dean, who called her mother and told her they would take a report and investigate.

But Swann said she never heard an update until the day Dugger was charged.

“Who would say that to a little kid? You’re supposed to be making sure these kids are safe and you’re preying on them,” Swann said.

She said she is terrified of what could have happened had her daughter not reported it — and angry that the school didn’t do more initially.

“My daughter is a special needs child. He never would have thought in a million years that she would go to authorities and make that report,” Swann said. “I don’t know if they just wouldn’t believe her because she’s an autistic girl or whatever, and he’s an authority figure.”

Swann said she wishes she would have pursued the school more with updates on the investigation and encourages other parents to listen to their kids and take action.

CMSD sent WEWS the following statement:

Principal Temujin Taylor confirmed that on Sept. 7, he investigated an allegation that the security guard made an inappropriate verbal comment to a girl that the guard denied and the principal could not substantiate. The principal had the dean of engagement document the complaint with a written statement from the student, and the principal spoke to the security guard about proper interaction with students. When a second student came forward in early November with concerns about Mr. Dugger's behavior, the principal called the District's Division of Safety and Security and a Cleveland police investigation followed.

Investigators believe there are at least three victims and that there could be more.

Dugger is suspended without pay from CMSD while the criminal investigation continues.