Two more indicted in former Eagleton School abuse case; 15 total

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PITTSFIELD — The number of former Eagleton School staffers indicted in the abuse scandal that closed the school has risen to 15.

Damian C. Sinclair, 24, of Albany, N.Y., and Isaac H. Harris-El, 41, of Watervliet, N.Y., were arraigned in Berkshire Superior Court before Judge Maureen Hogan this week.

Sinclair is accused of having assaulted three students between January 2014 and May 2015.

Harris-El is accused of assaulting four students between August 2014 and December 2015.

The allegations of abuse at the Great Barrington-based school for boys and young men with special needs prompted a multi-agency raid in January, which involved about 50 law enforcement officers.

The school shut down for good in mid-April after the state revoked its license to operate. Former staffers face a variety of charges from assault and battery to witness intimidation and caretaker abuse.

Sinclair pleaded not guilty to three counts each of assault and battery on a disabled person and caretaker abuse of a disabled person.

Harris-El pleaded not guilty to four counts each of assault and battery on a disabled person, caretaker abuse of a disabled person, and one count each of assault and battery causing serious bodily injury, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, assault and intimidation of a witness.

Harris-El was released on $1,000 bail already posted in the lower court; Sinclair was released on his own recognizance.

Both men were ordered to have no contact with the alleged victims and given pretrial hearing dates of Sept. 29.

Contact Bob Dunn at 413-496-6249.


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