A 15-year-old boy was sexually assaulted multiple times by a teacher at the Hilltop Baptist School, according to an investigation by the El Paso County Sheriff's Office.
After an almost year-long investigation, the Sheriff's Office says the teacher in question and three additional suspects were arrested and charged by a grand jury.
Terah Allyn Rawlings, 32, was arrested Wednesday on four felony counts of sexual assault on a child by one in a position of trust-pattern of abuse and four felony counts of sexual assault on a child by one in a position of trust. She also received a misdemeanor charge of obscenity-promotion. Rawlings has posted a $25,000 bond.
According to affidavits against all four defendants obtained by KKTV 11 News Thursday evening, Rawlings had sex with the student numerous times between fall 2007 and summer 2008. The student was a sophomore when they allegedly had sex for the first time in a vehicle parked outside an apartment complex. Subsequently the documents say they had sex in the vehicle, in Rawlings’ home, and in her father’s home.
According to the affidavit, Franklin "Wayne" Knight, Raymond "Allen" Knight and Jan Ocvirk were each told similar accounts by people who witnessed Rawlings and the student making out in a van during a school trip. They were also told that a witness saw them go into a bedroom with the student and heard noises that sounded like people having sex.
Ocvirk brought these allegations to Wayne Knight, the court documents say, but never reported them to the Department of Social Services or police. She allegedly told the witnesses not to bring the allegations to law enforcement.
According to the affidavits, Wayne Knight, the senior pastor at Hilltop Baptist Church and a former superintendent of the school, “displayed a consistent pattern to manipulate and control the situation--not only among the faculty at Hilltop Baptist School--but also among parent, church members and students.”
He allegedly told church members that “if you persist with this, your relationship with the church will be damaged.”
The pastor, who is Rawlings' uncle, also allegedly lied about having conducted a lie detector test.
Wayne Knight, 63, faces misdemeanor charges of failure to report child abuse or neglect and accessory to a crime, a felony. He posted a $2,000 bond.
Raymond "Allen" Knight--Rawlings' father, Hilltop Baptist School's former athletic director, and the associate pastor at Hilltop Baptist Church--also did not bring the report to the proper authorities.
Allen Knight faces charges of failure to report child abuse or neglect. He has posted a $300 bond.
Jan Ocvirk, 51, the former principal of Hilltop Baptist School, is charged with two counts of failure to report child abuse or neglect. She posted a $300 bond.
According to the Sheriff's Office, the sex assault took place in 2007 and was reported in 2010. The investigation is ongoing.
In an interview with KKTV's sister station CBS4 from Denver, EPSO's Lt. Lari Sevene said she would not use the term "cover-up" in relation to the school's reported actions. She said that administrators allegedly discounted initial reports.
The Hilltop Baptist School was closed in May at the end of the last school year. A source at the church estimated they had more than 100 students. EPSO says the closure was unrelated to the ongoing investigation.