Principal of Phoenix Magnet Elementary School arrested for cruelty to a juvenile
ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - The principal of Phoenix Magnet Elementary School in Alexandria has been indicted by a grand jury for a charge of cruelty to juveniles.
John Grimes, Jr., 62, was indicted by a Rapides Parish grand jury on Tuesday for a complaint that dates back to September 10, 2021. Grimes turned himself into the Rapides Parish jail on Wednesday shortly after 9:30 a.m. and posted a $25,000 bond just before 11:30 a.m.
We’re told by the Alexandria Police Department that they were investigating the case after a parent at the school came forward about discipline their child received. The case was turned over to the Rapides Parish District Attorney’s Office, and then it was turned over to a grand jury for consideration. The grand jury findings were sealed until Grimes was arrested.
The case is being prosecuted by Christopher Bowman. An arraignment date has not been set yet.
We reached out to the Rapides Parish School Board about the arrest. We received this statement from Superintendent Jeff Powell, which reads:
“We have been made aware of the allegations against one of our principals and are fully cooperating with law enforcement. As you know, we cannot comment on open investigations. However, we will continue to focus on providing a safe learning environment for the students of Rapides Parish public schools.”
When we asked about Grimes’ current status with the school board and if he remained employed, we were told they couldn’t comment.
We also reached out to Mark Vilar, the attorney representing the family of the child involved in the incident. His statement reads:
“On behalf of the child’s family, we sincerely appreciate the hard work performed by Detectives with the City of Alexandria Police Department and the Rapides Parish District Attorney’s Office in seeking justice for this terrible incident. We also appreciate the professionalism shown by the Children’s Advocacy Network while conducting various interviews. We hope that their efforts will help prevent similar, avoidable incidents in the future. The family is unable to comment further at this time in light of the ongoing legal proceedings.”
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