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Mother of the victim speaks about lawsuit against alleged CPS student assault


A local law firm held a press conference over a lawsuit against Columbia Public Schools, where the mother of the victim spoke.

The office hopes to bring attention to the school district's actions in a case of abuse. The alleged abuse dates all the way back between the years of 2015 and 2017 and involves the alleged assault of a 13-year-old disabled CPS student and her paraprofessional Thomas Edwards.

Despite Edwards's guilty plea to a misdemeanor assault back in 2020, the case against CPS and Edwards was never made public on CaseNet.

That's because at the time the victim was a minor.

Back in 2017, Edwards was arrested on suspicion of fourth-degree assault and fired from his job at Columbia Public Schools. This after, allegations came to light about the paraprofessional allegedly inappropriately touching a Middle School student with a disability. 

According to a PC statement Edwards placed his hand under the child’s clothing and touched him/her inappropriately. The alleged incident happened sometime between August 2015 and February 2017 at Oakland Middle School.

It wasn't until three years later that the former Columbia employee pleaded guilty to the crime. 

Edwards was sentenced to six months in the Boone County Jail. However, the sentence was later suspended for two years of unsupervised probation according to a Boone County Assistant prosecutor. 

It's now been almost two years since Edwards's sentencing and Amy Lake, mother of the victim, along with the law firm wants justice as they push to make the case open to the public.

"We ask that the documents in this case be made public so that increased transparency can lead to greater accountability by the school district and hopefully better procedures for these situations in the future." Lake said.

A trial date has been scheduled for July 25.  

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Kennedy Miller


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