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Pennsylvania teacher arrested for engaging in oral sex with teen student in empty school during lockdown

Stephen Raught, 53, was caught in the act on video surveillance footage
UPDATED MAY 17, 2020
(Chester County District Attorney's Office)
(Chester County District Attorney's Office)

CHESTER COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA: A high school teacher from South Coventry Township in Pennsylvania has been charged after he allegedly assaulted a 17-year-old girl in a school classroom during the COVID-19 lockdown. Stephen Raught is alleged to have kissed and performed sex acts with the unidentified teenager at the school while the institution was closed due to the pandemic.

A news release from the Chester County District Attorney’s Office stated that the 53-year-old teacher from Owen J. Roberts High School has been charged on Thursday, May 14, with institutional sexual assault and related offenses. He has also been put on administrative leave, and the school district has been co-operating. Raught was in custody at Chester County Prison after being charged but has since posted $50,000 bail.

According to reports, the alleged crime unfolded after the Pennsylvania State Police was contacted on March 24 following a ChildLine report involving the student and Raught. Two days after the information, the girl was questioned about the alleged incident. The teen student told officials that she had spent time with Raught in his classroom after school.

During the interview, the teenager also claimed that she went to school on March 16 to get some items. Since the school was closed due to the coronavirus lockdown, she apparently took permission before going there. The teen said that she spotted Raught, who teaches social studies, on the school ground and they went to his classroom.

Once inside, he shut the door and began kissing and fondling her, according to local media reports. He then allegedly got on his knees and began kissing her stomach through her clothes; and then he stood up, placed her on a countertop, and began kissing her between the legs.

When she tried to distance herself from him and distract him, he allegedly said: “I really wish I could take you home with me. But we both know that would be very bad, and I wouldn’t be able to help myself. Too bad we have quarantine, or else you’d be in my classroom every day after school.”

The act was caught on video surveillance footage, according to the District Attorney’s Office.

“A teacher who violates his duty of care and protection of a minor will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. We expect our children will be safe at school,” the attorney’s office said in a statement.

Meanwhile, in a news release, the school district said that they learned about the alleged sexual assault case on April 6 and soon placed Raught on administrative leave. While Superintendent Susan Lloyd deemed the charges against the teacher, who is teaching at the school since 2002, “disturbing.”

Along with the sexual assault charges, Raught has also been charged with corruption of a minor, unlawful contact, and endangering the welfare of a child. A preliminary hearing into the case is expected to be on May 27.

In a similar incident, a former Alabama teacher allegedly started having sex with a high school student just a month after receiving her teaching certificate. Catherine Lynn Coffey was charged with engaging in a sex act with a student aged under 19 while working as a special education teacher. According to reports, the 22-year-old could very well become a registered sex offender and can even face up to 30 years in prison if convicted. She has not entered a plea yet.