IC School Employee Charged with Sex Abuse

posted by WMT News / KCRG-TV9 -

IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) -- A man from Iowa City charged after allegedly performing sexual acts on or with a minor worked at Longfellow Elementary School in Iowa City district documents reveal.

30-year-old Scott Michael Suhr allegedly performed at least two sex acts on or with a child under 12-years-old between 2016 and 2018.

Court documents say the details given by the minor were ones that would only be known to the victim.

In a letter sent from Assistant Superintendent Jane Fry to Superintendent Stephen Murley on November 14, 2017, Suhr is "Recommended For Hire" as a child specific "special education para".

I9 has also obtained a letter sent from Longfellow Principal Chris Pisarik to families on Saturday. The note does not identify Suhr by name but says, "the employee was immediately removed from the classroom and placed on leave while leave" during the investigation.

"Due to the sensitive nature of this matter and the work still surrounding it, we will defer all inquiries to the Iowa City Police Department," Pisarik says in the letter.

I9 reached out to the Iowa City Police Department who in turn referred us back to the school district calling it, "a personnel matter."

I9 first reached out the school district on Monday inquiring about who they had placed on leave. Tuesday morning, the district sent a statement that said Iowa City Police notified the district of its investigation into Suhr on March 28th. At that time, the district placed Suhr on paid leave. The district says the alleged victim was not a student and that "the allegations were in no way related to any Longfellow Elementary students."

That statement was also news to the school board. Their president Jan Godwin tells I9 they didn't learn of Suhr's identity or what he was accused of until after we brought this letter to the attention of district officials. We should also note the district provided a copy of Suhr's job application and employment history which shows his job at Longfellow appears to be the first time he has worked in a school.

Superintendent Stephen Murley spoke to TV9 after the school board meeting Tuesday. He told TV9 the district followed all of its procedures, but says the district feels for the child and the family and that they want to make sure kids in the district always feel safe.

"We work very hard to hire the best employees that we can, we put them through a rigorous background check and unfortunately in situations like this you have an employee who passed the background check and was cleared for employment in the district but was unfortunately engaged in some activity that we certainly don't want to see in our schools," Murley said.

Suhr has been charged with 2nd Degree Sexual Abuse.

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