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Branson Parents Shocked to See Accused Felon Back in Class

BRANSON, Mo. -- The parents of a Branson High School student who prosecutors say was sexually abused in the school last spring want to know why the male student accused in the act is back in the school this year.
BRANSON, Mo. -- The parents of a Branson High School student who prosecutors say was sexually abused in the school last spring want to know why the male student accused in the act is back in the school this year.

"She is scared to go to school right now," says the victim's mother. "She was crying when she left the door this morning."

The mother says last spring her daughter was sexually abused in gym class.

"One of them grabbed her breast and told her, in Spanish, that he was going to make her do things. Pushed up against her. From what I understand, it was caught on video as well."

The Taney County Prosecutor filed a felony sexual abuse charge against 17-year-old Felipe Contreras, as well as a misdemeanor sexual misconduct charge.

"We had been told that he would not be back in Branson schools," says the mother. "School started Monday. Everything was going smooth."

But, this mother says her 15-year-old daughter was shocked to see the accused in the hallway later in the week.

"A felony charge for sexual abuse, I would think that would mean that person shouldn't be allowed around other children."

Branson Superintendent Dr. Doug Hayter says because of privacy laws he cannot address this specific case. However, the school district is accustomed to dealing with legal matters like custody issues.

"The law would state any student or person that is charged with a crime is innocent until proven guilty. If we had court documents or we were to have a restraining order regarding any specific issue, then we would deal with it accordingly."

He adds, "another good example of us trying to abide by the law, respect all parties. And do what we are legally required to do."

The victim's mother says she doesn't feel she should have to choose between ensuring her child getting a quality education and the child's safety.

"She doesn't feel safe and as a parent, it's my responsibility to make sure she does feel safe."

Felipe Contreras' attorney did not return phone calls Friday. Contreras is expected back in court in mid September.

The victim’s mother says the family will now pursue a court order to protect their daughter in this case.
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