The superintendent of Windham schools said Friday that he supports the decision by the high school football coach and the athletic director to recommend senior Tyrell Gullatt for a prestigious football award, even though both school employees knew that Gullatt was facing felony charges that he sexually assaulted young children.

RSU 14 Superintendent Sandy Prince said he has been in contact with football coach Matt Perkins and Athletic Director Rich Drummond this week since media reports about Gullatt surfaced, and said both were aware that Gullatt, 18, had been charged with two counts of gross sexual assault on children under 12 when they recommended him for the Frank J. Gaziano Memorial Offensive and Defensive Lineman awards in December. Gullatt, who was named a finalist in January, received a $1,000 scholarship.

“They felt that this student should be nominated based on what they knew of that student in the four years that they had him both in school and on the field,” Prince said. “My sense is that they didn’t have all the information to the extent of what was behind the charges.”

Prince, who declined to provide copies of the recommendation letters, citing student confidentiality, said he did not have enough information to judge the decision by Perkins and Drummond to recommend Gullatt.

“I think it’s hard to second-guess school leaders when they’re trying to make the right decision,” he said. “I think what they were thinking is that the student is innocent until proven guilty.”

Prince declined to say whether Drummond, Perkins or Windham High principal Chris Howell, who also penned a letter of support for Gullatt, would face any repercussions.

Neither Perkins nor Drummond has responded to multiple calls for comment since the charges were first publicized Wednesday.

A person who identified herself as Gullatt’s grandmother declined to comment Friday when reached by phone.

One member of the RSU 14 school board also declined to comment on the case, citing a lack of information about what occurred.

“I don’t have enough information to be able to make any comment,” board member Jeri Keane-Dreyer said in a brief telephone interview.

Keane-Dreyer said she did not know if the topic would be discussed at the next board meeting scheduled for Wednesday. Other members of the school board did not return calls for comment.

Gullatt was charged Nov. 17 in Portland in juvenile court. The alleged offenses date to 2013 and 2014. The alleged victims are now age 8 and age 5, respectively. Gullatt was under 18 when the alleged offenses occurred.

Civil filings in other courthouses show two separate protection orders filed against Gullatt, one of them appearing to correspond to the criminal charges.

The 5-year-old victim from one of the criminal cases has the same initials and date of birth as a child whose abuse was described in one of the protection filings. That protection complaint was filed on Oct. 22, weeks before Gullatt was charged.

In that civil filing, the 5-year-old girl’s father said Gullatt touched her beneath her clothes in September 2014. A judge granted that protection order to remain in effect against Gullatt until Dec. 7, 2016. The judge did so under an agreement by attorneys in the case without ruling on whether the accusations were true.

Another protection order, submitted on Nov. 15, involves a third child, separate from the children in the two criminal cases.

In that filing, the mother of a 10-year-old girl described how Gullatt allegedly touched her daughter over her clothes. A judge granted that order against Gullatt to remain in effect by an agreement between attorneys until Dec. 9, 2017. It is unclear whether criminal charges were filed in that case.

Typically, juvenile criminal cases in Maine are confidential. But in felony cases such as Gullatt’s, some limited information is made public.

In each of the criminal cases, only a single page of Gullatt’s court file was available for public viewing Tuesday. Neither of the pages contained further details about the accusations against him.


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