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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Former Buchholz High School nurses face felony for failing to report sexual battery of 15-year-old

Nurse said statements were too vague

Two former nurses at Buchholz High School were charged with failure to report child sex abuse on Jan. 5. 

A Gainesville Police Department investigation into a sexual battery case in April led police to believe the victim disclosed details of a sexual assault incident to school nurses Rossyln Hamilton and Meredith Burns-Brown.

A 15-year-old student at BHS stated she disclosed the incident of her sexual battery to the nurses but pleaded with them to not tell members of her family out of fear, according to the affidavit.

Burns-Brown denied that the victim discussed the sexual battery during her police interview and said the student visited the nurse’s office about a pregnancy test. The former nurse said the victim’s statements were too vague to reasonably conclude there was abuse, so she didn’t file a report to the Florida Department of Children and Families.

Her failure to report the incident to DCF led the Alachua County School Board to suspend her and Hamilton until its investigation was complete. The Florida Department of Health Division of Medical Quality Assurance also investigated this incident and is still pending. 

Alachua County Public Schools spokesperson Jackie Johnson wrote in a statement the district fully cooperated with the investigation.

 “We have a long-standing and excellent working relationship with the Department of Health,” Johnson wrote. “We obviously were in communication with the management there about this situation and are confident the appropriate steps were taken to address it.”

Violation of this law is a third degree felony and can result in up to five years in prison, according to state statutes

Contact Peyton Harris at Follow her on Twitter @peytonlharris.

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Peyton Harris

Peyton Harris is a first-year English major and the News Assistant for The Alligator. She is also a member of Zeta Tau Alpha and spends her free time re-listening to Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers and binging Criminal Minds.

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