Social worker testifies in own defense in trial connected to Fairview High School quarterback sexual assault allegations

A social worker Wednesday testified in her own defense on the second day of her trial on charges she failed to alert authorities to reports of a sexual assault involving Fairview High School’s star quarterback in 2018.

Marilyn Lori, 47, is accused of failing report child abuse in connection with a student who visited her office in 2018 and said she told Lori about being sexually assaulted by a fellow student, football standout Aidan Atkinson, about a month earlier. Lori testified Wednesday that the student said nothing about a sexual assault, and that is why she did not report the conversation to law enforcement.

Prosecutors argued she was required by law to report the conversation. Her defense attorney argued that the student did not clearly tell Lori about the assault and so Lori was not required to report.

The jury began deliberating around 11 a.m. Wednesday.

On the stand, Lori described the student as being resistant to talking about what happened during the October 2018 meeting, and said the girl, who was then 16, did not say anything about a sexual assault.

“She expressed a lot of anger about a conflict she was having with that student but she did not give any details about what that conflict was,” Lori testified.

The student testified Tuesday that she described to Lori how Atkinson allegedly touched her without her consent while the pair were drinking alcohol with a group of students on a “party bus” during homecoming weekend about a month earlier.

Lori testified that she was concerned about the underage drinking and about confidentiality, which is why she suggested the student talk to authorities but did not follow up with authorities directly.

In notes she took about the conversation, Lori wrote that the student talked about a male peer who was “being inappropriate with her in the limo after the dance,” she acknowledged on cross examination.

Lori said that sentence was in reference to alcohol use, and that the phrase “being inappropriate with her” referred to the two students drinking alcohol together, not to any alleged sexual assault.

The social worker did not mention alcohol at all in her notes, she acknowledged on cross examination. Lori repeatedly told the jury she did not break the law or commit a crime.

“Sexual assault is a very serious thing,” she testified. “And I would always report, if I had the knowledge or suspected it. In this instance, I did not know that, so I did not break the law.”

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