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Abilene Christian University professor arrested, accused of sexually abusing adopted children


by: Erica Garner

ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – An Abilene Christian University professor has been accused of sexually abusing his adoptive children, including at least one incident that happened on campus.

Charles Wadlington was arrested on a warrant for Sexual Abuse of Child and now remains held in jail on a $75,000 bond.

Court documents state that in March 2023, a child came forward to police and said she and her sister were sexually assaulted by Wadlington, their adoptive father, and their brother may have been harmed as well.

The brother was interviewed first. The documents state he described an instance where Wadlington touched him painfully in an inappropriate area after he got in trouble for play fighting with his sister. He also told detectives Wadlington “raped his sisters”, and that’s why one had moved out.

During a Child Protective Services investigation, the documents state one of the sisters reported Wadlington had engaged her in sexual activity multiple times, “and that one of those times was in his office at ACU”.

Investigators also spoke to the 2nd sister, who reported Wadlington sexually assaulted her multiple times beginning when she was 13-years-old and that she ran away from home when she was 15 because of the abuse, according to the documents.

She was able to detail multiple acts of sexual abuse he exposed her to and also stated she knew of at least one time he sexually abused her sister as well, and the documents state the abuse of her sister is what made her finally come forward and make a report.

This sister also told police she made an outcry to their mother, Mrs. Wadlington. The documents state she told the girl that, “if she spoke, to think about what would happen to all of the kids.”

Wadlington would also, according to the documents, bribe this sister with cash, driving lessons, and shopping to keep her from reporting the abuse.

On the Abilene Christian University’s website, Wadlington is listed as an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology.

ACU released the following statement regarding Wadlington’s arrest:

On Wednesday, March 22, university officials were informed that Charles Wadlington had been arrested. Pursuant to ACU policy, he has been placed on administrative leave while the investigation is ongoing. ACU takes matters like this seriously and will cooperate with law enforcement as needed.

2023 Mar 23