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2 Former Employees Of Special Needs Center Charged With Assaulting Student

This article is more than 2 years old.

Two former Judge Rotenberg Center (JRC) staff members are free on bail after pleading not guilty to beating an adult student in their care.

The incident places the school and residential center, which has developed a reputation for harsh discipline of students with severe autism and other disabilities, back in the news.

The two men were fired from the school after a videotape emerged showing them allegedly beating, whipping and threatening the victim during multiple overnight shifts in October and November.

Mohamed Tarawally, of Dorchester, was charged with multiple counts of assault and battery, with and without a belt. Claude Guerrier, of Brockton, faces three additional charges of assault and battery of a disabled person.

The men were arraigned in Quincy District Court on Dec. 9. Both are free on $250 cash bail and on judge’s orders to stay away from the victim and from JRC facilities.

In a statement, JRC staff say that they alerted local authorities after they became aware of the video.

The Food and Drug Administration has said that JRC is the only facility in the United States to use electric shocks as an “aversive therapy” -- in other words, to train students against undesirable behaviors.

Earlier this year, another staff member, 25-year-old Andre Scott, was charged with assault after three students living at JRC-operated Norton home showed up at school with bruises on their faces.

The JRC office did not reply to requests for more information about the incident or the school's staffing policy.

The two men accused are due back in court for a pretrial hearing on March 2.

Max Larkin Twitter Reporter, Edify
Max Larkin is a multimedia reporter for Edify, WBUR's education vertical.

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