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Man Wanted for Allegedly Raping Disabled Student Turns Himself in

Phillip Houtman was wanted on charges including rape and indecent assault and battery on a person with an intellectual disability

A Massachusetts school employee wanted for allegedly raping a 19-year-old male student with mental disabilities turned himself in to police at a court Friday, authorities said.

Phillip Houtman, 28, of New Bedford, walked into Wareham District Court with an attorney around 2 p.m. He was arraigned later Friday afternoon and will be held pending a dangerousness hearing next week.

Houtman is facing charges of rape, assault to rape, open and gross lewdness, and two counts of indecent assault and battery on a person with an intellectual disability.

Houtman is an overnight staff member at Chamberlain International School, a private boarding and day school that serves students between the ages of 11 and 22 with cognitive and developmental disorders and disabilites, Middleboro police said Thursday when announcing that Houtman was wanted for arrest.

Kevin Reddington, Houtman's attorney, told the judge Friday that he has a lot of questions about what's in the police report.

"You'll see that there are misstatements, there are recantations. There's an allegation that one of the witnesses walked in and said, 'Oh my God,' and I talked to that kid, and he says it never happened," the lawyer said.

Prosecutors said they plan to show surveillance video from the school at Houtman's next court appearance.

Houtman has been at the school for less than a year, school administrators told police.

He was removed from the schedule when the allegation surfaced, school officials said. The school is now examining and changing its policies, which will likely include additional training for staff and instruction for students.

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