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Woman behind attention-grabbing billboard speaks out

January 10, 2019 07:52 PM

A billboard on Route 7 in Great Barrington is accomplishing what it set out to do, but in the process, rocking the small community.

"The way I think of it, I sent my son off to school one day and he didn't come back for over 30 years," said Sharron Morgan.

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Morgan purchased the billboard space in an attempt to find answers for her now adult son, who claims he was sexually assaulted at the Sheffield Center School during his elementary years.

"He's held this horrible secret inside and had to live with it and try to make sense of the world. He couldn't," said Morgan.

Morgan says she hopes the billboard will encourage other possible victims to come forward and share their stories. So far it seems to be working as several people have reached out.

"One was an exact, happened exactly. It happened exactly to this other person," said Morgan.

The alleged abuse dates back to the late 1970s or early 80s. Morgan's son claims he was forced to perform a sex act on a male employee while another male employee took pictures in the janitor's room at the school. She says the alleged abuse has caused emotional distress and dangerous behaviors that have plagued his life.

"Feelings of self-loathing over medication, alcoholism, drug abuse, inability to form relationships," she said.

Earlier this week, Sheffield Police Chief Eric Munson confirmed to NewsChannel 13 that they were first notified of the allegations back in 2016. He says the statute of limitations on sex abuse cases for minors had long since passed. Massachusetts law says the statute for criminal charges is 27 years. Morgan wonders if another possible victim might fall into that window.

NewsChannel 13 reached out to the Southern Berkshire Regional School District for comment on the allegations. Superintendent Beth Regulbuto says they only learned of the claims when the billboard went up and have never been questioned by police looking into the case.

Morgan urges anyone else who might know something to come forward, if not for justice, for support."I'm a firm believer that, you know, if you have words, there's always a chance that you'll find a way. Silence is not golden. Silence is what keeps people entrapped," said Morgan.

Credits

Jacquie Slater

Copyright 2019 WNYT-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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