CAMDEN, SC (WIS) – A new motion has been filed against Camden Military Academy in an ongoing civil lawsuit that now includes a new allegation that the school’s dean of students did succeed in grooming another student and having sex with him.
The new motion filed on Aug. 28 in U.S. District Court in Columbia is an amendment to the 2017 lawsuit filed by the parents of a former CMA student, listed as “A.M.” The lawsuit claims John Heflin, the dean of students, sent him sexually abusive and explicit text messages while he was enrolled at the academy.
The parents of A.M. – Amanda and Deryck Santos, claim their son was taken advantage of due to the untimely death of his grandfather in April 2016. Santos said she and her husband discovered an inappropriate relationship between her son and an administrator and instructor at the school, Heflin.
Two administrators at Camden Military Academy were added to the lawsuit in July. The pair – Col. Eric Boland and Ltc. [Ret.] Brad Lawing – are accused of failing “to exercise even slight care in the hiring, training, supervision, and/or retention” of the man they’ve accused of harassing their son while he was a student at the school and “maintained a culture of secrecy” in response to allegations.
The new motion cites that A.M., who is now of age and identified in the civil action, was not Heflin’s only student-victim. While A.M.’s allegations say Heflin’s advances were only verbal and communicated via text messages and unrecorded conversations, the administrator did succeed with another student.
“Other former students of CMA have also alleged that Heflin engaged in similar grooming conduct with them, in an effort to ultimately perform a physical act with them at Heflin’s personal residence,” the suit states. “At least one of the students alleges that Heflin ultimately succeeded in having sexual physical contact with him.”
The suit goes on to say that the only reason Heflin wasn’t successful in physically assaulting A.M. was his mother intervened on an attempt by the older man to have her son stay the night on Thanksgiving at Heflin’s home.
The suit continues that Heflin’s co-workers and bosses knew of the allegations and were encouraged not to report the activity to law enforcement by Lawing and Boland.