Posted: Nov 5, 2009 06:53 PM
Updated: Nov 5, 2009 10:19 PM
Julie Ann Parish, a former North Middle School paraprofessional accused of child abuse, was in a Great Falls courtroom today to enter her plea.
Parish pled not guilty to two charges: assault on a minor, which is a felony, and endangering the welfare of a minor, a misdemeanor.
The charges stem from the alleged abuse of one autistic student, but more and more families are coming forward. Nine other families are now involved in the case and attended today's hearing.
Parents we talked to say it was difficult to be in the same room as the woman they believe abused their children.
Molly Gillis, said, "Emotionally, it's very straining...when your child is abused by someone. It's the mother's intuition to protect the child, and unfortunately the only thing I can do is pursue it legally and hope that she gets prosecuted."
Tifonie Schilling, the mother of the autistic teen, explained, "It's very difficult. Very, very difficult to be in the same room with someone you know hurt your child. Very, very difficult."
Parish is just one of two paraprofessionals accused of abuse at North Middle School.
If found guilty, she could face up to five years in prison and over $50,000 in fines. Her trial is scheduled for March 29th.
WEB EXTRA: here are the court documents charging Parish (new windows, PDF):Page 1; Page 2; Page 3; Page 4: Page 5: Page 6