No Charges to be Filed in MAD Academy Allegations
By edhat staff
Criminal charges of sexual misconduct will not be pursued by the Santa Barbara County District Attorney's office in the Multimedia Arts and Design Academy (MAD Academy) scandal, reports Newsmakers.
District Attorney Joyce Dudley confirmed there was not enough evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a former employee of the Santa Barbara High School-based program had the intention of committing a sex crime with students or there was reasonable suspicion of abuse requiring the director and school officials to legally report them, according to Newsmakers.
In May, the public learned that MAD Academy Director Dan Williams was under investigation by the Santa Barbara Unified School District (SBUSD) for matters that were "not criminal." The District then announced Williams will finish the remainder of the school year until June 30 and will retire.
Current and former MAD Academy parents then came forward with allegations of misconduct and a video of Williams appearing to party with underage students. Former MAD Academy Operations Director Pablo Sweeney was accused of inappropriate communication with a former underage student. Sweeney was quietly terminated from his position. Parents stated Williams and the SBUSD officials failed to report the allegations to local law enforcement under California's "Mandated Reporter" law.
Following these allegations, the SBUSD Board voted to immediately remove Williams ahead of the June 30th date.
It's unclear if any additional lawsuits are being pursued by current or former students.