Report: Teacher to serve jail term in groping case


William J. Schellinger, 42, of the 100 block of Summer Hill Drive, Gilbertsville, was sentenced in Montgomery County Court Friday to three-to-23 months in the county jail and five years' probation, according to the Times Herald.

Schellinger had pleaded guilty to numerous charges of indecent assault and corruption of minors in connection with groping incidents involving five boys.

The students, aged 15 to 18, were groped between 2006 and 2011 while Schellinger was a Spanish teacher at Colonial Middle School on Belvoir Road in Plymouth, the paper reported on its website. The boys were being tutored or mentored by Schellinger when the contact occurred.

Judge Steven T. O'Neill accepted a plea agreement in the case and ordered Schellinger to report to jail on Sept. 7. Schellinger can have no unsupervised contact with minors, the Times Herald reported.

O'Neill’s sentence means Schellinger will be under court supervision for a total of five years, according to the newspaper.

"When parents send their kids to school they think it's going to be a safe environment and they think their kids are going to be ok," the Times Herald quoted  Assistant District Attorney Jeremy Abidiwan-Lupo as saying. "This defendant, this teacher, violated that trust by grooming these kids, preying on them and gradually trying to touch them more and more."

Neither Abidiwan-Lupo nor defense attorney Marc Neff, a Philadelphia-based lawyer, could be reached for comment late Friday.

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