Police: Jersey Shore teacher sexually assaults teachers aide
JERSEY SHORE — After hearing graphic testimony from a victim, a judge ruled Wednesday there was sufficient evidence to hold suspended Jersey Shore Area High School teacher Samuel E. Rothrock Jr. on one count of indecent assault and seven counts of harassment.
“He touched my leg and went up and down my leg. He went under my dress and touched my private parts,” a teacher’s aide testified during Rothrock’s preliminary hearing before District Judge Jerry C. Lepley.
“I took his hand and said ‘No,’ “ the aide told the court.
The alleged incident occurred on the afternoon of May 2 in a classroom at the high school, where Rothrock is a life skills teacher, according to court records filed by Tiadaghton Valley Regional Police. He has been employed at the school, 701 Cemetery St., for eight years, police said.
The aide said she was in a classroom sitting at her desk when Rothrock came up to her desk and put his head down. The two worked together in the same room.
“He had been acting peculiar and odd,” the aide said.
The aide testified that after the assault, “I packed up my stuff and left the room.”
She said she did not give Rothrock permission to touch her.
It would be three days before she told anyone about the alleged attack. She testified that she told her husband as well as another person.
“I was waiting for him to apologize,” the aide said of Rothrock. He never did, the woman told the court.
She did not report the incident to police until the following week, but by then they already were investigating a report from a mother who claimed that Rothrock allegedly had inappropriate contact with her 16-year-old daughter, a student at the school.
Through their investigation, police allege Rothrock, 36, of 511 Sherman St. Ext., Muncy, inappropriately touched six students.
However, Rothrock’s attorney told Lepley that caseworkers from the county’s Children and Youth Department determined that the allegations from the students were all “unfounded.”
No student was called to testify during the hearing that lasted less than 10 minutes. Rothrock was released on $5,000 bail.
Rothrock’s attorney, George Lepley, told a reporter after the hearing that his client denies the allegations presented by the aide and was going to fight the case in court.
Court records state that Rothrock’s last day at the school was May 4 and that he “checked himself into a rehab (facility) the next day.”
Police said the school district informed them that Rothrock has been suspended without pay.