Suspended B-C teacher waives charges
A Bethlehem-Center teacher hired to produce the spring musical in the Charleroi School District will stand trial on charges he had sex with a 15-year-old girl in the Charleroi Area Junior-Senior High School auditorium.
Jeffrey A. Hahn, 23, formerly of Belle Vernon and now living in Allison Park, Allegheny County, was a seventh-grade teacher at Bethlehem-Center Middle School when he was arrested last month. He is currently suspended without pay from his teaching position, said district solictor Lane Turturice, who attended Wednesday’s court proceeding.
Hahn waived charges of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, sexual assault and indecent assault in addition to charges of statutory sexual assault and corruption of minors added to the complaint. He had been scheduled for a preliminary hearing in Central Court before District Judge Jay Weller.
The alleged sexual encounter reportedly occurred May 4 in the basement of the school’s auditorium. Charleroi police, in documents filed with the court, indicated that Hahn started sending the girl text messages on March 4. Five days later, the two pledged their love for each other.
While Hahn is out of Washington County Jail after posting $100,000 bond, Assistant District Attorney Traci McDonald asked Weller to maintain the provision that he have no contact with the girl, her family or witnesses.
“There are many minor witnesses involved,” McDonald told Weller. “And I want to be especially clear that includes text messages, e-mails, Skype and posting on Facebook or any other public electronic bulletin boards.”
“Information posted on these sites continues to be a problem in cases of this nature,” she added.
Weller warned Hahn not to violate the terms of the bond.
“I can’t tell you how many times people have gone to jail for sending text messages or contacting the victim through social media or third party,” Weller said. “No contact means no contact.”
McDonald also asked that Hahn be prohibited from contacting anyone under the age of 18 since the arrest stemmed from a school activity and because he had been a teacher. She also requested that he refrain from using social media and online dating services.
Defense attorney Steven Toprani called the latter requests “broad,” but said he client would abide by the restrictions.