GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. (WWLP) – A staff member of a Great Barrington school that offers special education services to children has been accused of forcefully raping a student.
A Berkshire County District Attorney’s Office spokesperson identified the staff member as Douglas Agyeh. He was arraigned on September 16 in Southern Berkshire District Court on single counts of rape of a child with force, and rape of a child aggravated by a 10 year age difference.
In a statement to 22News, Hillcrest Educational Centers, Inc., the organization that runs the Great Barrington school, said the alleged sexual abuse has been reported to local and state authorities.
“We were shocked and outraged when we recently learned of the alleged sexual abuse of a student by a staff member at one of our residential schools in Great Barrington,” they stated.
Services the school provides include individualized and comprehensive clinical, psychological and special education services for children, adolescents, and families in Berkshire County, and the Northeast. They also offer nonresidential and residential options and are state-licensed, certified, and accredited.
“Hillcrest is committed to preventing any kind of abuse to our students and meets or exceeds licensing and accreditation standards for training staff and reporting suspected abuse or neglect. After reviewing surveillance video, which we collect specifically to deter and detect inappropriate behavior, we reported the suspected abuse. Hillcrest is cooperating in full with the investigations. Hillcrest leaders will be reviewing all related policies, training, and procedures going forward to ensure we are doing everything we can to prevent any future incidents of abuse.”GERARD E. BURKE, PRESIDENT/CEO, HILLCREST EDUCATIONAL CENTERS, INC.
22News has contacted the Great Barrington and Pittsfield Police Departments for more information. We will continue to follow this story and provide updates when more information becomes available.