Berkshire DA To Investigate 'Billboard' Cases

Mar 25, 2019

The Berkshire County District Attorney's office said Monday it's investigating sexual abuse allegations prosecutors learned about as a result of two billboards that went up in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. 

The billboards, which were up in January and February, were paid for by the mother of a man who says he was sexually abused as a child in a Sheffield elementary school nearly 40 years ago.

The mother, Sharron Morgan, said her goal is to bring her son's alleged abuser to justice.

The office of District Attorney Andrea Harrington said it is investigating the son's case, and at least two other cases that came to light as a result of the billboard, and are trying to determine if they can be prosecuted.

Under Massachusetts law, a statute of limitations on child sexual abuse cases requires prosecution within a certain number of years after the alleged abuse took place.

Morgan's son said he feels "appreciative and thankful and relieved." 

"I am thankful this is being taken seriously," he said. "It's a horrible crime and I appreciate that there is validation that law enforcement says they can do something."

The son does not want to be named because of the nature of the case.

The billboards read, "DID SOMETHING HAPPEN TO YOU in the Janitor's Room at Sheffield Center School?"

Morgan said 11 people contacted her as a result of the billboard. One of them said she was molested as a child at the same elementary school as Morgan's son, but nearly two decades earlier. Two other women told Morgan they were sexually abused at an elementary school in New Marlborough.

"Other people who are in positions of responsibility see that this is wrong," said Morgan's son, regarding the DA's interest in the case. "This isn't the appropriate way that we like people to conduct themselves when they work in our school system. So it's validating. It's validating that law enforcement cares."

Harrington asked her staff to acquire information after the billboards went up, according to her office, and to start investigating the alleged incidents.