Park Tudor gets prosecution deferral after Cox case

Park Tudor School will not face further penalties arising from its handling of an investigation of former basketball coach Kyle Cox, who was convicted and sentenced to 14 years in prison for trying to entice a 15-year-old student to have sex with him.

The Indianapolis school entered a deferred prosecution agreement announced Tuesday by Josh Minkler, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana. The agreement defers for two years the possibility of prosecution of the school for misprision of a felony, as long as certain conditions are met.

Park Tudor in the agreement acknowledges it delayed reporting an allegation of child abuse as required by law after the student’s parents provided the school’s outside counsel with illicit images and pornographic cellphone videos of their daughter that Cox had persuaded her to send. When the Department of Child Services was later informed by a Park Tudor staff member of allegations concerning Cox, the staff member said there was no knowledge of any pictures exchanged between Cox and the student. The agreement says that former Head of School Matthew Miller, who had been made aware of the images and videos, was in the room but didn’t correct the statement. Miller committed suicide a few weeks after the report was made.

The agreement says Miller “made false and misleading statements” to a police detective regarding his knowledge of the evidence, and that there’s no known evidence that any other Park Tudor employee had knowledge of it.

After Miller’s death and Cox’s arrest, the agreement says, Park Tudor took “positive and assertive steps to remedy” the situation, including hiring retired 7th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge John Tinder to serve as an independent compliance monitor. The school also has trained staff in child-abuse prevention programs and revised policies and procedures.

The agreement requires the school to cooperate fully with the U.S. Attorney’s office, disclose all non-privileged information the USAO requests, and make staff available for interviews, discussions and testimony. Park Tudor’s independent monitor will report periodically to the USAO on the school’s progress in reporting suspected abuse, improving policies and procedures for reporting abuse, training, and development of policies and procedures “regarding teacher-student contact that are designed to reduce the likelihood of the formation of illegal and inappropriate relationships between Park Tudor personnel and students.”

The agreement was signed by Minkler and Tom W. Grein, chairman of the Park Tudor board of directors.

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