Academy puts official on leave
January 11, 2007
The private school official
arrested on charges of assaulting a student has been placed on
administrative leave by the Royal Gorge Academy. Randall Hinton of
Cañon City, 32, was released on $2,500 bail following his arrest
Tuesday on charges of third-degree assault, false imprisonment and
Hinton is project supervisor at the
Royal Gorge Academy, a private school for troubled teenagers.
Michael Gillick, Hinton’s attorney,
said this morning his client is “completely not guilty” of all
“This is a boarding school,”
Gillick said, “not a strict detention facility. This is to help
children who have problems and hopefully get them turned in the
Gillick said the teenage girl
involved in the alleged incident that occurred at the end of
December was “brand new” to the school and had not adjusted to being
He admitted the girl was restrained
using “common, legal methods” for her own safety and that of school
officials, but Gillick was not able to specify the restraint
Hinton reportedly has been involved
at other school facilities for troubled teens, most notably the
infamous Tranquility Bay in Jamaica.
Various online accounts report
abuse of students either by Hinton himself or directly supervised by
Cañon City Police Department Capt.
Allen Cooper said this morning his office had been told of prior
allegations before Royal Gorge Academy opened.
“As law enforcement officials, we
are not allowed to react to things that happen outside of our
jurisdiction,” Cooper said. “My understanding is there is not a lot
of oversight on private schools. The process to me sounds kind of
Gillick maintained Hinton never
before has been charged with similar accusations.
“Lots of bizarre things show up on
the Internet,” Gillick said. “You can read anything there and take
it with a grain of salt.”
Gillick also questioned police
tactics used in the investigation and said he offered to cooperate.
“I told them they could have
anything they wanted, just let me know when. They chose to bully
their way around and come back unannounced with a search warrant,”
Gillick said. “They could have done it the easy way or they could
have done it the dog and pony show, like they did.”
Cooper refuted that statement.
“The initial investigating police
officer asked for certain documentation and was told the school did
not have to provide it,” Cooper said. “That’s why we went with a
Gillick also charged the CCPD with
“overkill” as they conducted official interviews with students at
“They put all the kids in the
auditorium, did not let anybody see what was going on. There were no
guardians and parents were not allowed access to the children,”
Gillick said. “It was just absurd, conducting official interviews
under those circumstances.”
At least one parent has contacted
him, Gillick said, concerned her child was interviewed without
Cooper said it is standard
procedure to interview juveniles who are not suspects without
“Parental consent is not required,”
Cooper said. “None of these kids were suspected of anything other
than being potential witnesses.”
Cooper said the interviews with
students provided more information than his department anticipated.
“This did turn into a larger
investigation for us than we anticipated based on the reaction of
some of the participants,” Cooper said.
Hinton is due in District Judge
David Thorson’s courtroom at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday for advisement.