Norman Parents Say Claims Of Child Abuse Went Uninvestigated

Tuesday, February 19th 2013, 6:43 pm
By: Dana Hertneky

A group of Norman parents say they warned the school about an abusive teacher's aide years ago. They also say filed police reports that went uninvestigated. .

Those parents tell News 9 they believe the Norman Police Department didn't investigate because that aid's father is a Sergeant with the Norman Police Department.

2/18/2013 Related Story: Norman Former Teacher's Aid Charged With Sexually Abusing Child

Christopher Flores was arrested after court papers say he admitted to inappropriately touching a nine-year-old boy.

But six sets of parents of children in Flores's former special education class say they had complained to the school beginning 2002 about physical abuse. They even sued the school when they say district leaders wouldn't listen. Those same parents say their reports to the Norman police department also went nowhere.

"The police department had deaf ears and they would not take any of our reports," said Tammy Maus, who said she made her first report to the Norman Police Department in early 2002. "I was told they had lost it, that first it never happened, that the interview never took place. But we could describe the person who interviewed us, then we were told that they finally found the tapes, that bothered me, that bothered me."

Four years later when Kris Russow suspected his daughter was being abused, he also filed a report in May of 2006 and again January 2007.

"What we've been told all along is they don't exist for whatever reason the paperwork I filed didn't exist," Russow said.

When we asked a Norman Police Department spokesperson if Flores's father is on the police department, Sgt. Jennifer Newell responded "I can tell you we have an officer Flores who works here, But I don't believe it has any bearing on the case whatsoever."

Sgt. Newell said the only reports police have ever received about Flores were in 2007 after the parents filed the lawsuit. She added the Norman Police Department has no jurisdiction on school property.

"My understanding is people were saying we weren't doing what we were supposed to do because of a familial, possible familial relationship here and that's not how we do business at the Norman Police Department," Sgt. Newell said.

A spokesperson for the school says they can't investigate cases abuse and those are turned over to the police department.

We confirmed that Norman police, the OSBI and the District Attorney's office all handled the 2007 case, but charges were never filed.