Darby Twp. 2nd grade teacher charged with groping 2 girls

DARBY TWP., Pa. - March 12, 2014

53-year-old Paul E Hochschwender of Broomall is charged with institutional sexual assault, indecent assault on a person less than 13 years of age, and corruption of minors.

Hochschwender is accused of groping the two girls inside a classroom at the Darby Township Elementary School.

Authorities are also investigating a third incident involving a girl who is now 14 who claims she was molested by Hochschwender two years ago. The girl says she reported the assault to school officials at the time, but police claim they were never told.

Local investigators are asking anyone who may have been victimized by Hochschwender to please come forward.

Delaware County District Attorney Jack Whelan says cases like these are always heartbreaking.

"You send your child to school and you want to make sure your child is safe, and the last person you expect to victimize your child is the very person you are entrusting them into the hands of," said District Attorney Whelan.

Whelan says he believes this is just the beginning.

"Two additional victims have come forward with similar MO, similar description of what is occurring, and we believe there could be even more other than the two that have not been identified in the affidavit of Probable Cause," said District Attorney Whelan."

Defense attorney Arthur Donato says he has entered a plea of not guilty in the case and urges the public not to rush to conclusions.

"What we will be is analyzing the facts as they are alleged as well as analyzing the law and making appropriate decisions as to how to go forward, and beyond that, I don't think it would be appropriate for me to comment," said Arthur Donato.

Hochschwender, the father of two sons, has been a teacher at Darby Township Elementary School for nine years.

He was arraigned Wednesday and has since posted 10% of $100,000 bail.

Darby Township Elementary School is located across the street from the District Court where plenty of parents expressed outrage.

"I think that's sick," said Carol Sella. "I think that is very sick, a second grader? Absolutely."

"I don't like it at all so I will probably be looking for my son to be going someplace elsewhere next year," said Carol Stella.

But one grandparent says her granddaughter describes Hochschwender as an odd person, but she doubts he is a criminal.

She just felt uncomfortable around him because he seemed to have his hand on her shoulder and things like that. She wasn't real thrilled with that, but I don't think she even thinks that there is something wrong with him," said Ellen Grenfell.

The girl who said Hochschwender groped her two years ago said she did report the incident to the school, and now the District Attorney's office wants to know why the school never reported that incident to the authorities.

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