An overnight staffer at a private school in Massachusetts has been charged with raping a cognitively disabled 19-year-old student, police said.
Phillip Houtman, 28, of New Bedford, is being sought by investigators on charges including rape and indecent assault and battery on a person with an intellectual disability for sexually assaulting a special needs student at Chamberlain International School, Middleborough police said Thursday.
Investigators learned of the allegations against Houtman on Sept. 30. Police said he worked as an overnight employee at the school — a “co-educational therapeutic boarding and day school” that serves students ages 11 to 22 with developmental disabilities, according to its website.
Police Chief Joseph Perkins is “strongly suggesting” that Houtman surrender to authorities, according to a statement by police.
Houtman had not been taken into custody as of early Friday, police confirmed to The Post.
Scott Davignon, the school’s executive director, said he could not provide additional details on the allegations when reached for comment Friday, citing an ongoing police investigation.
Houtman was removed from his post as soon as the accusation surfaced, WBTS reported.
New training for staff and additional instruction for students is now being planned at the school, according to the station.
Anyone with information regarding Houtman’s whereabouts is asked to call (508) 947-1212.