Former Southern Baptist Football Player Charged With Abuse

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — A former football player at Southwest Baptist University has been charged in an assault at a group home for children.

Viavia Manuma was charged Wednesday with one count of child abuse and two counts of first-degree assault in a July incident at Home Court Advantage Inc. in Bolivar that was captured on video. Bond is set at $50,000. Manuma’s attorney, Matthew Weatherman, said through an assistant that he had no comment.

The school said Monday that it was dismissing two students over the allegations but hasn’t identified them, citing privacy laws. Manuma recently completed his last season of eligibility.

The school described the students’ actions as “unacceptable” in a statement. A woman who answered the phone at the group home but declined to give her name declined to comment.

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