In Kansas, a military school cadet leader has been arrested for sexual battery — a circumstance that comes amid a spate of allegations about a “culture of abuse” at St. John’s Military School in Salina.
After the cadet leader was arrested, officials at the school again denied that allegations made in a federal lawsuit were indicative of a lax policy regarding abuse between students, but ABC reports that the pending suit involves nearly a dozen former students and their families:
“The alleged incident comes as St. John’s fights a federal lawsuit filed by 11 former cadets and their families against the boarding school. The students contend the school’s quasi-military cadet program, which gives higher-ranking cadets the power to discipline students, encourages physical and mental abuse. The plaintiffs — who hail from California, Florida, Tennessee, Colorado, Texas and Illinois — filed the lawsuit in March.”
The 18-year-old cadet leader was arrested on Friday, and St. John’s president Andy England confirmed to media sources that he had been reassigned pending a return to his home state of Virginia after his release.
England commented on the latest allegation and says the institution is cooperating with the investigation as well as conducting their own:
“Upon being made aware of the allegations, St. John’s immediately initiated an investigation … Based upon preliminary information, we notified the Salina Police Department in order to have their investigation begun as soon as possible.”
The cadet leader arrested Friday was not identified in media reports as formal charges have not been yet filed, and child protective services in the jurisdiction have been apprised of the situation.