INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.-- Park Tudor and its administrators will not face charges in connection with a coach who admitted to sending explicit photos to a 15-year-old female student and trying to have sex with her, as long as it follows the terms of an agreement.
A deferred prosecution agreement was filed Tuesday. The agreement states former Headmaster Dr. Matthew Miller was aware of and failed to immediately report sexually-explicit communications, images and videos between former basketball coach Kyle Cox and the victim.
Court documents say Miller caused a "materially false report" to be made to the Department of Child Services around December 15, 2015. The report omitted key facts and circumstances about the sexually-explicit communications at Cox's request. Investigators also say Miller first negotiated confidentiality agreements with Kyle Cox and the victim's parents, and then gave misleading information to an IMPD detective.
On Jan. 25, classes at Park Tudor were canceled after Miller had been found dead over the weekend. The Marion County Coroner's Office confirmed Miller's cause of death as a hanging and the manner of death was ruled a suicide.
"The head of school was provided with evidence of this crime. He did not turn it over to law enforcement," said Josh Minkler, U.S. Attorney, "The situation that occurred at Park Tudor is clearly a tragedy. One of their students has been victimized. A pretty high profile coach is in prison. The head of the school committed suicide."
Miller would have faced prosecution for misprision, or deliberate concealment, of a felony. Court document show Miller knew it was his duty to report allegations of sexual abuse, but delayed making any report for about 24 hours. Some of this delay was based on conversations with Park Tudor's outside counsel.
The agreement states Park Tudor, since Feb. 5, has actively and substantially cooperated with the investigation. The school has also implemented revised and improved policies and procedures to better protect the students.
"We actually ask that school corporations do not do an internal investigation prior to reporting that information to the authorities because they could be jeopardizing or at least contaminating the content of the information that needs to be ascertained by law enforcement," said Emily Perry, Executive Director of Susie's Place, a child advocacy center not affiliated with the case.
Perry said adults in Indiana have a duty to report.
"Every single person in the state of Indiana is a mandatory reporter. And that means it is their moral and ethical obligation to report any suspected child abuse, any child abuse in a very efficient and timely manner," she said.
There is no evidence to suggest any other Park Tudor employee was are of the relationship between Cox and the victim.
The agreement states Miller's conduct opens the school up to prosecution, but that prosecution will be deferred unless Park Tudor does not cooperate with the agreement.
To meet the requirements of the agreement and avoid prosecution, the school and its employees must:
- Completely, truthfully and reasonably disclose all non-privileged information in its possession about which the United States Attorney's Office may inquire.
- Provide reasonable access to Park Tudor's documents and facilities, and completely and accurately respond within a reasonable time to all USAO requests for documents.
- Provide testimony and other information deemed necessary by the USAO or the court to establish the original location, authenticity, or other basis for admission into evidence of documents or physical evidence in any criminal proceeding, if any, against others.
- The USAO agrees that it will make all such above requests for Park Tudor documents, information or personnel solely through Park Tudor's counsel.
- Not violate any law.
- Immediately, truthfully and completely report any allegations of suspect child abuse and neglect to DCS.
- Continue to implement and enforce policies and procedures to ensure immediate reporting.
- Continue to provide training to all employees on the dynamics of child abuse.
- Continue to develop policies regarding teacher-student contact that are designed to reduce the formation of illegal and inappropriate relationships.
The agreement runs from Nov. 15, 2016 to March 15, 2018.
Cox was sentenced to 14 years in prison after admitting to the relationship with the minor victim and other students.
Park Tudor issued this statement Tuesday:
Today, Park Tudor School entered into a Deferred Prosecution Agreement (DPA) with the United States Attorney's Office. The facts recounted in the DPA are consistent with the material findings of the internal investigation conducted by Larry Mackey of Barnes and Thornburg. Importantly, beyond former Head of School Matthew Miller, no other Park Tudor employee, administrator, faculty/staff member or member of the Board of Directors was implicated in either report.
Nevertheless, we recognize that the school made mistakes in relation to the Kyle Cox matter, and we regret those mistakes.
It is important at this time to remember the victims of Kyle Cox. First and foremost, we apologize to the victims and their families. We regret the harm and anguish this entire matter has caused them, and we continue to offer them our support. In addition, we apologize to our entire community - students, parents, alumni, faculty and staff - for mistakes that were made.
Kyle Cox's reprehensible and criminal actions were wrong - both legally and morally - and a betrayal of that for which our school stands. Moreover, Park Tudor's response, through the actions of Matthew Miller and the school's then legal counsel, was inappropriate and not what we expect from our school. Nor is it what we will tolerate going forward.
This conduct does not reflect the values of our school or the values we seek to instill in our students.
Over the past several months, Park Tudor has reviewed and modified our policies and procedures and trained our entire faculty, staff and Board on child abuse prevention. In addition, the school continues to work closely with former Federal Appellate Court Judge John Tinder on additional student-safety measures. We will continue to do all that we can to ensure the safety and security of our entire community.
We cannot undo the past. But we hope that our ongoing efforts and commitment to strengthening our student safety polices will both contribute to the healing process and continue to rebuild trust in our school.