By Sarah Vogelsong
Information emerged this past week about the arrest of a director at Abundant Life Academy, a Christian therapeutic boarding school in Milford, on charges of sexual battery.
Nathaniel Daniel, a program director at the school, was charged in the Caroline Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court. He had only been working at ALA since April.
On Sunday, June 15, ALA’s owner and chairman of the board Paul Branning sent a text to a member of the Caroline Sheriff’s Office that someone had made allegations against Daniel. County law enforcement officers arrested Daniel Monday morning.
Branden Armour, a consultant who works with admissions for ALA, says that ALA has a “zero-tolerance policy” and that Daniel will not be allowed to return to work “until charges are completely exonerated.” He also said that ALA parents have been notified of the incident.
Armour further stated that ALA has strict rules in place governing interactions between staff and students, particularly those of the opposite sex.
“Male staff are not to be ever alone unsupervised with a female student,” he said.
Additionally, over 150 cameras are installed on the Milford property to allow oversight of the facility.
The charges against Daniel are not the first to plague ALA’s facility in Virginia. Four teachers who were previously employed at the school—Jovany Rivera, Liam Galligan, Timothy Jordan, and William Carey Honea—were charged on May 7 with assault and battery and assault and battery by a mob in an incident that was alleged to have taken place on Feb. 14, 2014. The cases of all four individuals will go to trial on Aug. 6.
The Sheriff’s Office was tipped off to the abuses after an incident involving four male ALA students who stole an all-terrain vehicle and ran away from the school in April and were found by law enforcement officials of King George County. No charges were pressed against the four boys.