April 13, 2016

2 Indianapolis Public Schools Staff Charged For Not Reporting Alleged Sexual Abuse

2 Indianapolis Public Schools Staff Charged For Not Reporting Alleged Sexual Abuse

INDIANAPOLIS -- Prosecutors have charged two Indianapolis Public Schools employees with misdemeanor failure to report for not immediately notifying authorities of sexual abuse allegations against a former counselor.

A probable cause affidavit filed Wednesday alleges Human Resources Director Lela "Tina" Hester and HR caseworker Shalon Dabney had evidence that Shana Taylor had sex with a teenager in her office at Longfellow Elementary School but waited six days to report it to authorities.

Detectives found emails and other evidence that Hester tried to cover it up.

On Feb. 17 the victim's mother showed the assistant principal Facebook and text messages ,and inappropriate photos between the teen and Taylor. 

On Feb. 18 Hester sent an email to the district's chief strategist Le Boler that appears to suggest hiding the sexual abuse allegations from the police. 

"I asked that the school police stay out of it so that she is not charged and we can handle from an HR perspective but I don't know if the mom plans to file charges," Hester wrote in the email.

Court documents did not contain a response from Boler.

On Feb. 23 Dabney filed a report with the Department of Child Services.

State law requires schools to immediately report abuse or neglect allegations to law enforcement or the Indiana Department of Child Services.

IPS Superintendent Lewis Ferebee issued a statement Tuesday night saying IPS "will tolerate nothing less than the safest and most secure learning environment possible" for students and employees.

The 37-year-old Taylor has been charged with nine felony counts of child seduction and two other charges.

WFYI Staff contributed to this report.

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