Yet another horrifying story of abuse and assault at a Christian boarding school, this time the Abundant Life Academy in Caroline County, Virginia. Three “life coaches” and the director of the school pleaded guilty to assault and received suspended sentences despite their brutal beatdown of a student being caught on tape. Here’s a local news report on it:
Four hours into trial, four former staff members of a Caroline County boarding school changed their pleas to guilty and were convicted of misdemeanor assault and battery.
Fredericksburg residents Liam Galligan, 44, Jovany Rivera, 22, Timothy Jordan, 26, and 49-year-old William Honea were all given a 12-month suspended sentence and ordered to have no contact with any of the witnesses at Thursday’s hearing in Caroline circuit court.
Three of the men were prohibited from teaching at a school with minors for the next five years. Galligan, who had served as the interim director at Abundant Life Academy, was prohibited for teaching minors for 10 years…
The victim testified that after the three-hour assault, he was awakened every 90 minutes as part of his punishment for “talking to a girl,” which wasn’t allowed.
Witnesses, who included staff members and students, testified that they were unsure of what began what the prosecution called “tackling” or what the defense called “restraining.”
Soon after the state rested its case, defense attorney Cary Bowen notified Judge Gordon Willis that his client, Rivera, wanted to make a deal.
“The judge didn’t seem like he was on our side,” Rivera said after court. “I don’t feel like we are guilty because we had the child’s best interest at heart.”
He said he doesn’t have any hard feelings toward the teen and is still friends with many of the students he worked with.
Defense attorney Joseph Brown, who was representing the other three, requested a brief recess to discuss a possible deal for them as well, and they took it.
“They are all good men and I don’t think they ever meant to hurt the child,” he said. But as far as taking the deal, he said, “the devil you know is better than the one you don’t.”
I’m so glad the abuser has no hard feelings against his victim, aren’t you? This kind of thing is all too common at the Christian boarding schools. There’s a documentary that shows rampant abuse at these schools, especially ones in the Caribbean.