Staffer at Middleboro boarding school accused of raping disabled teenager

MIDDLEBOROUGH, MASS. (WHDH) - Police are searching for a former staff member at a boarding school in Middleboro who allegedly raped and sexually assaulted a teenager with an intellectual disability last month.

In a recent letter sent to parents, the Chamberlain International School wrote that there was “a serious allegation that a staff member engaged in inappropriate behavior with a student.”

Phillip Houtman, 28, of New Bedford, is accused of carrying out the attack inside one of the school’s private dorms on Sept. 29.

A warrant has since been issued for Houtman’s arrest. He is facing charges including two counts of indecent assault and battery on a person with an intellectual disability, rape, assault to rape, and open and gross lewdness.

The school serves students between the ages of 11-22 who have cognitive and developmental disorders and disabilities.

Houtman has been removed from the school’s schedule and has been banned from stepping foot on campus, according to the letter.

The school told 7NEWS that Houtman started working there in May as an overnight staff member in the dorms.

With charges looming, the school claims it will now “examine and make changes to school policies.”

The Massachusetts Department of Children and Families and the Department of Early Education are assisting Middleboro police with the investigation.

Anyone with information on Houtman’s whereabouts is urged to contact Middleboro police at 508-947-1212.

 

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