Manatee administrators on trial over abuse allegations - FOX 13 News

Manatee administrators on trial over abuse allegations

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Many teachers and faculty at Manatee High School had the same complaints when it came to former football coach Rod Frazier.

"He rides around on the cart with girls hugging them, and him hugging them, and teachers are upset about it," testified English Teacher Patricia Aragon.

Aragon told the courtroom she went to principal Robert Gagnon with her concerns.

"I told him I thought he should do something about it," she said.

"What was Gagnon's response?" the prosecutor asked.

"He said, oh he is okay," said Aragon.

Gagnon and former assistant principals Matthew Kane and Gregg Faller are charged with failing to report child abuse.

Prosecutors said they ignored repeated complaints about Frazier's relationships between the coach and female students.

"He would text them in class and they would raise their hand and say Mr.Frazier wants me in his office," Aragon testified.

She said she confronted Frazier.

"I would question him sometimes and he wouldn't tell me the answer," she said.

After a student became upset, she took even more action.

"I asked her, ‘why did he call you?’ She said, ‘he wanted to know if I got my period yet,’ " Aragon said.

The defense argues Aragon and other witnesses did not do enough.

"You made no written report of the complaint, correct?" attorney Brett McIntosh asked.

"Correct," Aragon replied.

Defense attorneys argued that instead of going to principal Gagnon, the witnesses should have called the state child abuse hotline themselves.

"According to our protocol, we were supposed to tell the principal," Aragon said.

"According to state laws, Ms. Aragon, if a student is having an inappropriate relationship, you are supposed to call, correct?" asked McIntosh.

"Now I know, because we had the wrong protocol at our school," Aragon responded.

Court will resume Tuesday morning. If the defendants are found guilty they face up to five years in prison. If they are found not guilty, they could get their jobs back, along with eight months of back pay.

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