Case against Kentucky middle school principal accused of failing to report alleged abuse continues

Published 6:29 am Tuesday, February 15, 2022

The case against Bondurant Middle School Principal Whitney Allison is set for a pretrial conference in Franklin District Court on March 1.

Allison was indicted in 2019 on a single charge of failure to report child dependency, neglect or abuse, a Class B misdemeanor, in connection to an alleged incident involving former BMS seventh grade teacher Todd Joseph Smith.

Last week, a 12-person Franklin Circuit Court jury found Smith not guilty of two counts of sexual abuse, a Class D felony, stemming from two reported incidents during the 2018-19 school year in which two students accused him of grabbing their buttocks.

Allison was charged with not preparing a report to local law enforcement after learning that or having reason to believe a child had been abused.

Like many court proceedings, her case was delayed in 2020 and 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Allison’s attorney, Elliott Miller, also filed several continuances on numerous occasions — the latest last June, when the March 1 pretrial conference was scheduled for 10 a.m.

According to court records, Elliott sought a continuance until after Smith’s jury trial had been resolved.

“Specifically, if Dr. Smith is found to not have committed the underlying offense of sexual abuse for which he is charged, then Allison could not have violated the law in failing to report Dr. Smith’s alleged conduct. Thus, she could be absolved of any culpability,” Elliott wrote.

He stated that trying his client before a resolution in Smith’s case “could significantly impact Allison’s case” especially if she was convicted and Smith was found not guilty of the charges against him.

“Although Allison appropriately investigated the allegations against Dr. Smith and reported the allegation the very next morning to Deputy (Montey) Chappell, Allison was subsequently indicted on Sept. 24, 2019,” Elliott added. “The indictment states that Allison ‘knew or had reasonable cause to believe that a child was dependent, neglected or abused and failed to immediately cause an oral or written report to be made to a local law enforcement agency …’ Of course, if Dr. Smith never committed the offense for which he is charged then Allison could not have committed the offense for which she is charged.”