Retired teacher faces sex allegations

Hagersville high school sends letter home to parents

A 53-year-old retired teacher from Oxford County has been charged with several sexual offences related to events between 2016 and 2018 at Hagersville Secondary School.

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A retired teacher has been charged with sexual offences in connection with events that allegedly occurred at Hagersville Secondary School between 2016 and 2018.

Haldimand OPP say an allegation of sexual assault was brought to their attention Jan. 25. An investigation by the Haldimand OPP Crime Unit resulted in an arrest and charges. Word of the arrest was shared with the public Friday afternoon.

“We’ve identified one victim,” Const. Ed Sanchuk, spokesperson for the Haldimand OPP, said.

“We don’t identify whether the victim is male or female because that might identify who they are.”

The accused was an employee of the Grand Erie District School Board at the time of the alleged incident. The board issued a statement to the media Friday.

“Grand Erie District School Board and the OPP take this matter very seriously,” the board said.

“The safety and well-being of our students is our top priority. Supports will be available Monday for any student who feels impacted by this event. They will also remain on site for as long as needed.

“As the matter is now in the hands of the OPP, we will not be providing any further comment.”

The timing of the OPP release coincides with a note that went home with HSS students Friday.

In the letter, principal Shaun McMahon said the accused was a communications and technology teacher who taught in Hagersville until his retirement in November of last year.

In the letter, McMahon says the charges relate to events that took place between January of 2016 and October of 2018.

Counsellors will be at HSS Monday to speak with students who want to share their feelings or any information they may have about the alleged crimes.

“We also encourage families to discuss this situation at home in preparation for students’ return to school on Monday,” McMahon said.

Police have charged Robert Mehlenbacher, 53, of Oxford County with sexual assault, sexual exploitation and criminal harassment.

The accused was released after a bail hearing. He is scheduled to appear in the Ontario Court of Justice in Cayuga March 19.

The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information related to this situation is asked to contact the Haldimand OPP at 1-888-310-1122.

Information can also be shared with Crime Stoppers of Haldimand and Norfolk. The tip line is 1-800-222-8477.

Callers to Crime Stoppers do not divulge their name, do not speak to a police officer and are not expected to testify in court.

Callers who help solve a crime are eligible for a cash reward up to $2,000. Crime Stoppers does not subscribe to call display.

MSonnenberg@postmedia.com

 

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