Darien Police Chief Ray Osborne said in a statement released Monday afternoon that an investigation of accusations involving criminal conduct against students by staff at Darien High School has concluded that there isn’t evidence that any crimes took place.
“After careful consideration of known allegations, our investigators have determined that no criminal conduct occurred during any of the incidents we were asked to review,” Osborne said in the statement.
For weeks, police detectives have been investigating accusations of mistreatment of students at the school, including assault by a coach on a football player and unrelated accusations of mistreatment of students on a girls sports team.
Osborne’s Full Statement
Date: July 23, 2018
Re: Investigation of School Related Events
Issued by: Ray Osborne, Chief of Police
On June 22, 2018 the Darien Police Department was asked to review information involving allegations of possible criminal conduct at various school related events.
These events dated back as far as October of 2016. A review of information that was brought to our attention was conducted by the Darien Police Detective Division.
After careful consideration of known allegations, our investigators have determined that no criminal conduct occurred during any of the incidents we were asked to review.
This review included an incident involving a student football player and the Darien High School football coach that took place on Oct. 1, 2016. This incident had been previously investigated by our detectives in August of 2017.
That investigation included a consultation with the Stamford States Attorney’s office and the results of that investigation determined that no probable cause existed for an arrest.
With the exception of the above incident, the Darien Police Department has never received a complaint from any student or parent of a student who claimed to be a victim of any conduct alleged in the information we reviewed that would require a criminal investigation.
Our department takes any report of criminal activity seriously and investigates any such claims to the fullest extent possible.
Members of the Darien Board of Education and Darien High School administration were contacted at various points during this investigation and they cooperated with our requests for information.
Unless additional relevant information is reported, there will be no further action by the Darien Police Department.
Accusations From Jay Hardison
Jay Hardison, a Representative Town Meeting member, has said in various emails sent in the past two months to dozens of town officials, news organizations and others, that school district officials had not responded adequately to the allegations, including by not notifying the state Department of Children and Families, as school officials are obligated to do, or notifying Darien police.
Hardison said some of his information came from others who knew about the incidents and some from the many Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests he has made to the board and the school district going back more than a year. He has also made complaints to the state Freedom of Information Commission that the board and district have violated the FOIA by not providing some of the documents he requested.
Tara Ochman, chairperson of the Board of Education, has said the board and school district have followed the law, except in some cases where the board was mistaken about which documents it could release.