Mercer County

UPDATE: Bluefield elementary teacher charged with three counts of child abuse

A teacher at an elementary school in Bluefield is under investigation after allegedly hitting a 5-year-old special needs student. Mercer County Prosecutor George Sitler said Bluewell Elementary School teacher Marlene "Molly" Robinson is facing 3 charges of child abuse.

Sitler confirms a grand jury met this week and returned a 3 count indictment alleging 3 counts of child abuse with injury against Robinson.  Two of those counts are for recent allegations.

Detective Sommer with Mercer County Sheriff's Department tells 59 news Robinson was caught on camera making physical contact with the student on Sept. 12 and Oct. 1, 2018. 

Deputies said they were made aware of the situation by the child's parent last week and an investigation is now underway. 

Sommers said this is not the first time Robsinson has been in trouble with the law. He said in May 2018, West Virginia State Police received a complaint about the same teacher. According to Sitler, on May 29, Robinson allegedly dragged a child through the hallway.  She was arrested in August for a felony child abuse charge and was out on bond when the alleged incidents in September and October occurred. 

Persecutor Sitler stressed that his office is working diligently to get to the bottom of these incidents.

"Somebody who's in a care taker position as a teacher of special needs students has to be held to the highest possible standard in terms of the treatment of these children," Sitler said. "They're extremely vulnerable and we're going to do everything we can to make sure children are safe in Mercer County."

Sitler adds at this point, these are just allegations and Robinson is entitled to presumption of innocence and the right to a trial.    

Mercer County Schools Superintendent Dr. Deborah Akers is aware of the situation and said the school board is currently following the appropriate complaints. She stated this is a personnel issue and is still under investigation.

As of right, now Robinson is not working at Bluewell Elementary. Her employment with the school district is still being determined and she will answer to her indictments on her docket date set for October 22.

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