Affidavit: Parents say principal failed to report abuse allegations

Colleen Mercurio appears for arraignment in Warwick District Court, Monday, Dec. 11, 2017. (WJAR)

A Warwick elementary school principal charged with failure to report an alleged case of child abuse pleaded not guilty at her arraignment Monday.

Colleen Mercurio, 55, of Saunderstown, was released on personal recognizance.

A Warwick police affidavit obtained by NBC 10 News said a complaint from parents indicated that Mercurio failed to report alleged repeated sexual abuse of their daughter by another female student.

According to police, the alleged sexual abuse happened on the afternoon school bus over a period of two years, and included inappropriate touching by another girl under her clothing.

The parents said they first reported it to Mercurio in November 2016. An investigation determined Mercurio should have reported the allegations to the state Department of Children, Youth and Families under state law.

Mercurio surrendered last month, and she was put on paid administrative leave from Cedar Hill Elementary School.

The charge against Mercurio is a misdemeanor.

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