Misconduct charges lodged against former teacher
BY STACI WILSON
Allegations of sexual misconduct have been leveled against a former Montrose Area high school art teacher.
Charges lodged against Robert Smith, Montrose, stem from the victim’s report to police of incidents that occurred about 20 years ago while she was a student in the school district.
Smith retired from teaching in 2001.
State Trooper John Oliver filed an aggravated indecent assault charge, a second degree felony, against Smith in Montrose District Court on Tuesday, Oct. 26.
Smith was arraigned in front of District Judge Jeffrey Hollister and released on $10,000 unsecured bail.
In addition to the felony charge, Smith also faces misdemeanor counts including corruption of minors, indecent assault and indecent exposure.
According to the police affidavit, the alleged victim came forward in May 2009 and said she had been molested by her art teacher on various occasions over the course of two years, with incidents beginning in late 1990.
The Susquehanna County Independent does not release the identity of victims of sexual assault.
The victim told police one incident occurred in the art room in Montrose Area High School. Other incidents took place at the victim’s home and at the Smith residence, according to the affidavit.
The victim also said Smith sent her love letters, which were forwarded to police and entered into evidence, according to the affidavit.
Smith denied the former student’s allegations to police during an Oct. 19 interview at the Gibson barracks.
But, according to the affidavit, as the trooper related the victim’s stories, Smith said, “I may have gotten too close to this kid” and that the relationship went too far.
Smith told police he had been consumed with the girl and that he had “fallen hard” for the student.
He told police he wishes he could offer an apology to the victim.
A preliminary hearing originally scheduled for Nov. 1 was continued to Nov. 15 in Montrose District Court.