Special needs student assaulted by staff member at Midlands elementary school, cops say

·1 min read
CIty of Cayce

A staff member at an elementary school in Lexington County was arrested for attacking a special needs student, the Cayce Police Department said Wednesday.

The incident happened May 20 at Cayce Elementary School, but the school resource officer wasn’t notified about it until Tuesday morning, police said in a news release.

Hours after starting an investigation an arrest warrant was issued for Melanie Juliette Harris, according to the release.

Harris is a special education teacher assistant at the Lexington 2 school at 515 Bulldog Boulevard, according to the Cayce Elementary website. That’s in the area between the Congaree River and U.S. 321.

Jail records show the 27-year-old was charged with second-degree assault, kidnapping, and unlawful conduct toward a minor. The special needs student was assaulted in one of the school’s classrooms, police said.

Information on the student’s condition was not available, and there was no word if the child was hospitalized.

No bond has been set for Harris, who is being held at the Lexington County Detention Center.

Harris’ job status with Cayce Elementary and Lexington 2 was not known following her arrest.

If convicted on the misdemeanor assault charge, Harris faces a maximum punishment of three years in prison and a $2,500 fine, while the most severe penalty for a conviction on the felony kidnapping charge is 30 years in prison, according to South Carolina law. If Harris was convicted on the felony unlawful conduct toward a minor charge, she would face up to 10 years in prison, according to South Carolina law.

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