Former Eagleton School staffers arraigned; weeklong series of pleas seen in connection with alleged abuse


PITTSFIELD — Two former Eagleton School staffers were in Berkshire Superior Court on Monday — the first in a series of eight defendants expected to be arraigned this week in connection with the alleged abuse of students at the school.

Roscoe R. Adams, 36, of Pittsfield, allegedly abused a disabled student in June 2013 and gave court officials a false statement, and Debra A. Davis, 41, or Great Barrington, is accused of destroying video surveillance evidence and transferring to different campus buildings staffers who complained about alleged abuse in an attempt to keep them from reporting those assaults.

Six more defendants are expected to be arraigned in Superior Court this week, according to Assistant Berkshire District Attorney Rachael Eramo.

Allegations of student abuse at the school for boys and young men with special needs surfaced following a multi-agency raid of the Great Barrington campus in late January, ultimately leading to the school's closure.

Accusations include the slamming of one student's head against a table by a staff member and another student being shoved by the throat over a low railing.

The specifics of the allegation against Adams were not available from the probable cause statement filed with the case, except that it occurred on June 10, 2013.

However, included among the abuse allegations in a state Department of Early Education and Care report is a June 2013 incident in which an unnamed off-duty staff member entered the school and punched a resident in the head and punched them again when they hit the floor.

That report was released as state sanctions were leveled against the school for alleged efforts to avoid being investigated. The EEC officially revoked the school's license to operate on April 8.

Adams pleaded not guilty to one count each of assault and battery on a disabled person, caretaker abuse on a disabled person and misleading a police officer.

Davis faces a lone count of intimidation of a witness, to which she too, pleaded not guilty.

Both were released on their personal recognizance by Judge Daniel Ford. Adams is due back in court on Sept. 29 for a pretrial hearing. Adams' pretrial hearing date will likely be determined some time next week.

Contact Bob Dunn at 413-496-6249.


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