Police: Conestoga High School staffer sexually assaulted student

Saturday, April 22, 2017
Police: Conestoga High staffer sexually assaulted student
Police: Conestoga High staffer sexually assaulted student. Bob Brooks reports during Action News at 11 p.m. on April 21.

CHESTERBROOK, Pa. (WPVI) -- A Conestoga High School staffer has been arrested on charges he sexually assaulted a student.

Arthur Phillips, 67, who works as an instructional aide in the television production studio, was arraigned at the district court in Chesterbrook, Pa. on Friday afternoon.

He has worked at the school since 2006. Investigators say the student was 15 years old when it began.

Earlier this week, Conestoga High School officials went to police and turned over emails dating back to January.

It's alleged Phillips and the victim would send texts and emails back and forth. The victim told police Phillips befriended her at the beginning of the school year, taking her places in his car.

Police: Conestoga High staffer sexually assaulted student. Katherine Scott reports during Action News at 6 p.m. on April 21.

At least once, police say, he sent her a picture of his privates.

The victim told investigators they had sex on more than 10 occasions, between January and April of this year, and in her interview said she would tell Phillips "no."

The victim said Phillips would also grope and sexually assault her. The incidents would allegedly happen in his school office and his car.

Police say that when the allegations came to light, Phillips crashed his car and wrote a note that states "I was just a guy trying to help a kid and the boundaries just got gray."

He's a father of one and lives with his wife in Wayne, Pa.

Raw video: Arthur Phillips, accused of sexual assault of Conestoga High student, arrives at a Chester Co. district court.

Phillips faces numerous charges including aggravated indecent assault and institutional sexual assault.

Neither he nor his lawyer had any comment.

Phillips is being held on $500,000 cash bail and is prohibited from contacting the victim. The school district said he has been suspended pending termination.

Here is a letter that was sent to families in the Tredyffrin/Easttown School District:

Dear T/E Families,

With deepest regret we write to inform you that today the District was notified by law enforcement that Arthur Phillips, a District paraprofessional, has been arrested for charges related to unlawful conduct with a Conestoga High School student. He has worked as a paraprofessional at Conestoga since March 2006 and has been suspended pending termination. Out of respect for student privacy, we will not comment on the details of this matter.

We are prepared to provide assistance to any students who are in need of support as a result of learning this information. Please contact a school administrator or counselor if your child or a student you know might benefit from such support. We have no information to indicate the employee was inappropriately involved with other students. If anyone has relevant information about this matter, please contact Tredyffrin Township Police Lieutenant Joseph Glatts at (610)644-3221.

We cannot adequately express our shock and dismay upon learning an adult responsible for the care of our students has been charged with such a deplorable act. We will continue to review and strengthen where necessary our existing policies and practices regarding faculty and staff training, with respect to maintaining appropriate boundaries with students. The welfare of all students remains our highest priority.


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