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Community leaders defend Tay Anderson from anonymous allegations of sexual misconduct

Members of the Greater Metro Denver Ministerial Alliance said allegations must be substantiated by facts and Anderson is "innocent until proven guilty."

DENVER — At a press conference Thursday afternoon, members of the Greater Metro Denver Ministerial Alliance spoke up to defend Denver Public School (DPS) Board Member Tay Anderson.

Nearly four months after anonymous allegations of sexual misconduct were brought against Anderson, the prominent group of religious leaders calls for transparency and clarity.

Members of the alliance ask that the investigation being conducted by a third party group hired by the DPS Board of Education come to an end or charges filed if wrongdoing is found. They said that anonymous allegations that have not been substantiated are ruining Anderson’s life.

"It is dangerous, it is egregious, absolutely tasteless to throw an accusation out there and not come forward with any proof," said Superintendent Patrick Demmer with the ministerial alliance. 

As the investigation into anonymous allegations of sexual misconduct against Anderson continues, members of the alliance ask that those allegations be substantiated by facts and evidence. They said if Anderson is guilty, he should be prosecuted. So far – they’ve seen no evidence of wrongdoing.

The group Black Lives Matter 5280 was the first to bring the anonymous allegations. No one from the group responded to a request from 9NEWS for comment Thursday.

"At this time, there is no evidence, there is no indication that is where things are. In fact, at this time he is innocent until proven guilty," said Pastor Topazz McBride with the alliance.

"It’s one thing to say that we’re having an investigation. Our question is how long is this investigation going to go on? In the midst of this investigation that’s now over three months, lives are being ruined," added Bishop Jerry Demmer, alliance president.

9NEWS is not aware of any victims that have come forward to Denver Police (DPD). Police will not say if they are investigating any allegations against Anderson, though the Denver District Attorney’s Office tells 9NEWS there are no filed or refused cases for Anderson. 

The DPS Board of Education has hired an independent firm to investigate. If any victims came forward, DPS would be mandated to report information to police.

9NEWS legal expert Whitney Traylor said allegations must be substantiated by evidence or witnesses in an investigation like this.

"Yes, at some point the investigation will have to end and they will have to make a conclusion on what did or didn’t happen based on what was actually alleged or not alleged," said Traylor. 

Anderson has previously said if any wrongdoing is found, he will take responsibility, but has always maintained the allegations are false.

"If I have overstepped or hurt anyone, I deeply apologize. I want to take accountability. But, I can't begin that accountability process until I know what I'm being accused of," Anderson said at a press conference on March 28.  

The ministerial alliance made it clear they support any victims of sexual misconduct, but the lack of evidence presented against Anderson compelled them to speak out to defend him. 

It’s not clear how long the investigation being conducted into Anderson will last.

   

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