No charges to be filed in alleged abuse case involving child with autism

Posted at 12:21 AM, Dec 20, 2014

HENRICO, Va. -- Britton Ellis alleged that his eight-year-old's teacher's aide at Pemberton Elementary School locked his daughter in a bathroom and hit her back in November.

Henrico County Police investigated the alleged incident, but prosecutors have decided not to press charges stating they did not have enough probable cause.

A spokesman for Henrico Public Schools tells me the teacher's aide is no longer employed by the school system. According to the school system, she was a temporary aide and was asked to leave on November 25th.

Still, the parents of the little girl she allegedly abused want justice.

A disturbing recording given to CBS 6 by a Henrico man last month that he said was depicted an aide abusing his daughter who is autistic.

CBS 6 legal analyst Todd Stone says this case would be hard to win.

He told us cases like this without video are hard to prosecute.

“We don’t know what happened here, but this is a great example of, if you don't have that camera in the classroom, it's nearly impossible to take this case to trial,” Stone explained. “Yeah, it makes it almost impossible.”

We reached out to Ellis about the Commonwealth's Attorney's decision but he declined to comment, and referred us to his attorney.

His attorney sent the following statement:

"We are obviously disappointed by the decision of the commonwealth not to pursue criminal charges in light of the overwhelming evidence of wrongdoing by the aid.  While disagreeing with the decision of the commonwealth on this issue, Presley's parents respect the decision that was made."

The Commonwealth's Attorney's office did not want to talk about the specifics of the case because child protective services is still investigating the incident, although they did say it is difficult to prove something beyond a reasonable doubt when an alleged victim has a disability that makes it difficult for them to communicate.



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