The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

News

April 4, 2014

Police: Norry teacher a groper

Educator ‘could not wait’ until girl was legal, complaint states

BERWICK — A 55-year-old Northumberland teacher took photographs of, commented on, and squeezed a student’s buttocks, pressed his genitals against her and told the 17-year-old girl he “could not wait” until she was legal, according to a criminal complaint filed Thursday.

Gary Richard Beveridge, 55, of 940 Strawbridge Road, who teaches language arts at Columbia-Montour Vocational Technical School, also told the girl he looked at photographs of her when fondling himself, according to court documents.

He faces multiple misdemeanor charges after allegedly acting inappropriately with the student from October to March.

Police in South Centre Township, Columbia County, were alerted to the incidents by the school’s director, William Forsythe, and interviewed the girl Monday.

The teen said that she had Beveridge as a teacher in ninth and 11th grade. She did not come forward to school officials to report Beveridge’s behavior because she trusted him as a teacher and mentor, and “she did not know what to do, or if anyone would believe her,” according to court documents.

The incidents began, she told police, during private conversations with Beveridge about problems she was having and her parents’ divorce.

Beveridge, the girl told police, took pictures of her buttocks in October.

In January, when she again was talking to Beveridge about her parents’ divorce, he looked at her and said ‘You have a nice (butt),” according to court documents. She ignored the comment, she said, and then “he reached out and grabbed (my) buttock with his hand.”

She immediately left the classroom, she said.

The incidents escalated in February and March, according to the girl’s statements to police, with increasingly indecent actions by Beveridge. He allegedly rubbed her knee, then her thighs, the girl alleges.

Beveridge, according to the girl, told her that he “could not wait until she was legal,” and it would not be hard for him to cheat on his wife and sleep with her.

After the girl reported the behavior to school officials, Beveridge allegedly told her that he would “deny everything you say.”

Appearing before District Judge Richard W. Knecht, of Berwick, Beveridge was charged with three second-degree misdemeanors of indecent assault, without the consent of others; three third-degree misdemeanors of harassment, with the intent to harass, annoy or alarm another and communicating with lewd or obscene words to harass and alarm another person; and one summary offense of harassment with intent to alarm.

 

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