Child Protection at Monrovia Football Academy, As Academy Issues Statement On Recent Happenings
The following statement is intended to inform readers of an alleged sexual assault that was brought to our attention on May 9, 2019 at Monrovia Football Academy’s rented campus in Konola.
On Thursday, May 9, 2019 at approximately 8:00am GMT, one of Monrovia Football Academy’s male students complained of stomach pain. Because the student had an urgent tone in his voice, the Academy sent him to a clinic in Monrovia along with our Social Welfare Officer. We asked the student’s parents to meet him there.
On Thursday, May 9, 2019 at approximately 9:00pm GMT, the student’s mother called the Academy to lodge a formal complaint of sexual assault by a male assistant football coach against her son. The complaint alleges the assistant coach entered the student’s dorm room in the middle of the night, covered his mouth to prevent waking his roommates, and proceeded to assault him.
Upon receiving the formal complaint, the Academy’s senior staff activated the procedures for sexual assault cases as outlined in our internal policies. The allegations were relayed to local law enforcement, who took the accused into custody at approximately 6:00am GMT on Friday, May 10. Within the next 24 hours, the accused was suspended with immediate effect; both the student and the accused were tested for sexually transmitted diseases; the Academy formally informed both its Board of Directors and its parents; the Academy contacted Minister Piso Saydee-Tarr of the Ministry of Gender, Children, and Social Protection; and the Academy held group meetings among students and senior staff.
After conducting an extensive internal review of the complaint on Friday, May 10 and Saturday, May 11, the Academy confirmed there were no additional victims and held an emergency meeting with all parents on Sunday, May 12.
On Monday, May 13, the accused, Exodus Williams of Caldwell, was indicted by a Grand Jury on charges of sexual assault against a minor. He is currently being held at Margibi County’s central prison pending trial.
Health workers, authorities, and the Monrovia Football Academy community are tending to the needs of the student and his family.
This alleged behavior is unacceptable and it will not be tolerated. We must hold ourselves to the highest standards to protect the safety and wellbeing of our students. We can do nothing less.
The Academy is resolute in its commitment to empower Liberia’s future leaders. We will do everything we can to make our campus safe for all students.
Monrovia Football Academy was founded in 2015 to empower Liberia’s future leaders through quality education and sport. In the 2018-19 academic year, the Academy has 92 students (56 boys, 36 girls) in grades 3-7. Our students are ages 6-15 and represent nine of Liberia’s 15 counties.
As a residential academy serving underprivileged boys and girls from across the country, Monrovia Football Academy takes seriously its commitment to student safety and wellbeing. All staff hires are required to produce a police clearance and multiple referrals from local community members. In addition, through our Child Protection Policy, Campus Rules & Regulations, and annual staff training on child protection and sexual harassment, we have developed policies and procedures to ensure our students’ safety.