Rape occurred in RA Hubbard field house

August 24—An alleged rape Feb. 6 in an unlocked athletic field house at now-closed RA Hubbard High was the focus of a two-week investigation by Lawrence County Schools that included placing Hubbard’s principal on off-site duty, the superintendent acknowledged for the first time this week.

Jadakis Montay Madden, 21, of Courtland, was arrested July 20 on a second-degree rape charge involving a 14-year-old female, and the incident was witnessed by other juveniles, according to court documents that became available late last month following the arrest. The incident allegedly occurred on a Sunday in the field house adjacent to the football field in North Courtland. The defendant is an RA Hubbard graduate, one school board member said.

Hubbard Principal Rosa Allen-Cooper was moved to an off-site position with the school system from Feb. 16 to March 2, when she resumed her regular duties. “She was moved out of her direct role as principal so no one can say she’s interfering with the investigation,” Lawrence County Superintendent Jon Bret Smith said in late February.

The results of the school system’s investigation remain unknown despite an open records request filed by The Decatur Daily on March 23.

Smith said in a written statement Monday afternoon that his office withheld the results of the investigation to ensure “the privacy of its students and the mandates of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.” He said the independent investigators “did not find sufficient evidence to indicate that any person was directly at fault for the incident.”

In his statement, Smith said the school’s resource officer reported the alleged rape to the Sheriff’s Office.

“Likewise, the school soon began its investigation including referring this matter to (the Department of Human Resources) on Feb. 10,” Smith wrote. “The safety and security of our campuses is of the utmost importance to the district. It is also critical that the district respects the privacy of its students and the mandates of Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (aka FERPA).

“Given those considerations and the fact that the district’s motion to close RAH was pending in federal court at that time, the district felt the best way to handle the situation was to hire an independent team of investigators. To ensure that the district was able to take appropriate steps to address any possible concerns while protecting student’s FERPA rights, the district’s legal team coordinated the independent team of investigators.”

Smith said the field house was typically locked, “but that it was left uncharacteristically unlocked as part of this incident.”

“As the community is aware, the court granted the district’s motion to close RAH. As such, there is no chance of this issue repeating at that location. It is unfortunate that the Feb. 6 incident occurred, but there is no way to prevent all potential issues from occurring in schools. However, this incident serves as a good reminder of the importance of the district’s regular training efforts and expectations that all school staff take steps to protect students.”

The alleged rape occurred almost two months after the Lawrence school board in December approved Smith’s recommendation to close Hubbard because of its declining enrollment and high cost to operate. A federal judge approved the closure in April.

District 1 School Board member Christine Garner, who represents the North Courtland school that closed permanently in late May, said she was disappointed that Smith has not released the investigation’s results to the school board members.

District 5 board member Reta Waldrep also said she has not heard from Smith about the results. Other board members Gary Bradford, Sabrina Barkley and Shanon Terry could not be reached for comment.

“Somewhere along the way you have to explain yourself,” Garner said. “Jon Bret is not being very transparent about anything with this. The school board is being left in the dark. I’m going off the school board in November, so I probably won’t hear what the investigation was about. I want our kids to get an education and be safe doing it.”

Garner said Allen-Cooper was never informed about the investigation’s results either. Allen-Cooper agreed in March to give up her principal’s position at the closing school and become “transitional liaison” for Hubbard students moving to other schools in the Lawrence system. She later left that position for a job as guidance counselor at Decatur City Schools’ Benjamin Davis Elementary effective Aug. 5.

According to the court documents released July 28, Sheriff’s Office Lt. William Smith filed a complaint against Madden on April 11. The complaint read that Madden “did engage in sexual intercourse with a juvenile female (14) while at the field house of RA Hubbard. This incident was witnessed by several other juveniles that were present. Jadakis Montay Madden was 20 years of age at the time of the incident.”

A warrant for Madden’s arrest was executed at 3 am on July 20 at a Town Creek residence along Alabama 101, court records showed.

Jail records indicated Madden was booked into the Lawrence County Jail on a second-degree rape (statutory rape) charge and a misdemeanor third-degree criminal mischief charge July 20 with bail set at $10,300. He posted a property bond and was released July 22. He turned 21 the next day. The criminal mischief charge has been changed to criminal trespass, Lawrence Chief Deputy Brian Covington said.

Second-degree rape is charged if the defendant “being 16 years old or older, he or she engages in sexual intercourse with a member of the opposite sex less than 16 and more than 12 years old; provided, however, the actor is at least two years older than the member of the opposite sex; or he or she engages in sexual intercourse with a member of the opposite sex who is incapable of consent by reason of being mentally defective.

Second-degree rape is a Class B felony in Alabama with punishment of a conviction being two to 20 years in state prison.

No attorney is listed for Madden in the court documents.

The sexual abuse allegation was the second at RA Hubbard in a 14-month span.

On May 27, 2021, a since-deceased English teacher at RA Hubbard was charged with second-degree rape, second-degree sodomy and two counts of engaging in a sex act with a student under the age of 19, according to Lawrence County Sheriff Max Sanders. Court records listed two teenage male victims. The boys, 15 and 16 at the time, said they met the teacher in her classroom after school hours the previous September and had sex with her there, the court document said.

— mike.wetzel@decaturdaily.com or 256-340-2442. Twitter @DD_Wetzel.

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