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Racine school volunteer accused of sexual harassment, won’t face charges

Posted at 5:35 PM, Jan 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-15 18:35:12-05

RACINE — A former Racine school volunteer is accused of sexually harassing several female students, but he won’t be criminally charged.

Racine police call the former St. Lucy Catholic Parish School volunteer’s behavior inappropriate, but police and Racine County District Attorney determined the allegations do not rise to the level of criminal charges. Due to that decision, TODAY’S TMJ4 will not name him at this time.

A former St. Lucy teacher and librarian who had been volunteering as the middle school theatre director for the past couple years is no longer allowed on school property after sexual harassment allegations let to a police investigation in November.

Grandmother Dee Reth said she just learned about the allegations Wednesday morning.

“I felt so bad for the kids,” Reth said. “I mean, it’s such a young age to have to go through something like that.”

A Racine police report shows a female student told a school faculty member on November 14 about an uncomfortable interaction with her theatre director during a rehearsal.

“He told her that she was sexy,” the police report stated. “He was surprised that she was not into older men.”

After police started investigating, several other female students came forward with more allegations.

One girl told police, “(The volunteer) hugged her, kissed her on the top of the head and had one arm around her body.”

“Anyone that does that to kids, children needs some type of help,” Reth said. “I don’t know if jail would do it, but he needs other kind of help I think.”

Racine police said they handed over their investigative findings to the district attorney’s office who also found the allegations didn’t meet qualifications for criminal charges.

Siena Catholic Schools President Brenda White sent TODAY’S TMJ4 a statement that reads in part:

“Siena Catholic Schools immediately ended the volunteer’s role with the school and ensured the individual will not have access to any of the six Siena school properties or students,” said White.

“It would surprise me if it was true because he’s not that kind of guy,” said Ellis Steiner.

Steiner has known the former volunteer for 20 years. Steiner said the former volunteer has since moved to Texas.

“All I can tell you is the character I know is not the character that you’re describing,” Steiner said.

Racine police say the volunteer never responded to their calls during their investigation that is now closed.

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