A boarding school in the Amargosa Valley in the center of a ongoing abuse investigation was closed Wednesday after his owner and his wife were arrested in Las Vegas for more than 40 counts of abuse or neglect on children.

Marcel Chappuis, a professional psychologist who owns the Northwest Academy, a school for teens and teens at risk, and his wife, Patricia, each face 43 counts of allowing the abuse or neglect of a child. child. Patricia Chappuis faces two other charges of child abuse or neglect, according to the prison and court records.

The owner was detained at the Clark County Detention Center with a $ 100,000 bail, while Patricia Chappuis does not appear to be in custody at the prison, according to the same records. It was not clear if she had posted a link.

The charges stemmed from an investigation into the facility's tap water, which contained arsenic, according to a video statement released by the Nye County Sheriff's Office.

In a statement Wednesday afternoon, the Division of Public Health and Behavioral, which has the authority to revoke the license of an institution, said: "The arrested do not directly monitor the children currently on the site. Northwest Academy Academy staff strive to transfer children to alternative investments as soon as possible. DCFS helps find alternative placements for children currently on the NWA website. "

DCFS is the Division of Child and Family Services.

The Nevada Environmental Protection Division issued an order on February 9, 2018 regarding high levels of contaminants in the water. School students were to receive three bottles of water a day, but the school often lacked bottled water and was sometimes deprived of three days, Sgt. Adam Tippetts said in the video.

"Even during the hot summer months, students were either forced to drink tap water or nothing at all," he said.

Students also drank tap water when they received their medications, he said.

Patricia Chappuis asked the staff to cook and clean with tap water, witnesses told the Nye County Sheriff's Office.

"They also reported that the empty bottles of Sparkletts had been brought into the kitchen and that the staff was warned that if anyone asked him if he was using bottled water for cooking, he had to tell him yes, "says Tippetts in the video.

The additional charges against Patricia Chappuis as a result of child abuse stem from "previous physical altercations" she had with students, Tippetts said.

The news of two more arrests in this case was announced early Wednesday, after the Metropolitan Police Department, which was attending the Nye County Sheriff's Office, announced that it had arrested a man and a woman under arrest. stop for ill treatment to children shortly before 23:55. Tuesday in the 7600 block of Painted Dunes Drive, a residential area near West Ann Road and North Durango Drive.

Metro then identified the couple as Marcel and Patricia Chappuis.

Lt. David Gordon confirmed that the warrants stemmed from the sheriff's investigation of January 28 on allegations of child abuse and neglect at Northwest Academy.

The school's lawyer, Richard Schonfeld, refused to comment on Wednesday afternoon.

In a statement on February 4, he said: "We ask the public not to rush, we are confident that the investigation process will reveal that the goal of the Northwest Academy is to provide a safe environment and productive to his students. "

The sheriff's office made his first arrest in the case one day after launching his investigation, which was triggered by complaints from a former public servant and former student, 14 years old.

The student stated that he was grounded several times by a staff member, Caleb Hill, 29, although his Stop report reported that the agency was investigating a single incident that occurred on January 4th.

No official charges were laid against Hill in Judge Beatty's court on Wednesday morning. The prison records show that he remained at the Nye County Detention Center, where he is waiting for his initial appearance.

The investigation also uncovered arsenic in the school waters. A notification of contaminated water was sent to parents on December 13, according to an email obtained by the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

According to the notification, the contamination was detected on November 6 and was caused by "erosion of natural deposits; runoff from orchards; runoff of glass production and electronics waste. "

Sanitary inspections

At one of its semiannual school inspections, the state 's public health and behavioral division discovered in March 2017 that staff had never reported any problems. incident two months ago in which two students had been found in the gym "in sexual contact", according to a report. conclusions of the division.

The inspector also found that the school did not meet the daily nutritional needs of each of his students, as fruits and vegetables were not provided during lunch, the document says. The Northwest Academy has therefore appointed a "chef de cuisine" to "ensure that proper inventory is available".

This same inspection also led the school to set up a "quarter shift report" after the inspector had reviewed the school records and found that the professional owner and psychologist Marcel Chappuis had failed to keep case notes of therapy or counseling "for harmful behavior," according to the paper.

Since the news of the ongoing violence investigation, several allegations by former students and their parents have been raised, including: a 13 year old boy whose mother took him out of school in January after hearing from other mothers about incidents at school.

Tanner Reynolds claims to have been slammed and stuck to the ground by Hill on one occasion in December, while other alumni have accused school staff of favoritism.

In a brief telephone interview with the Review-Journal after the announcement of Hill's arrest, Patti Chappuis defended the academy stating, "A multitude of inaccuracies and falsities have been reported. Sheriff (Sharon) Wehrly or one of the licensing committees has concluded no finding of abuse or neglect. "

She refused to attack the presence of arsenic in the school water or the other allegations that surfaced at that time.

The couple's first court appearance in Las Vegas is scheduled for Thursday morning.

This is a story in development. Come back for updates.

Contact Rio Lacanlale at rlacanlale@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0381. To follow @riolacanlale on Twitter. Jessie Bekker, editor of the Review-Journal, contributed to this report.

7600 Painted Drive Dunes, Las Vegas, NV