IOWA CITY — An Iowa City man charged with sexual abuse of a child younger than 12 was employed at an Iowa City elementary school, though school district officials say the allegations of abuse “were in no way related to any Longfellow Elementary students.”
The Iowa City Community School District on Tuesday said Scott Suhr, 30, was a paraeducator at Longfellow and was recommended for hire there on November 2, 2017.
Authorities notified the school district of their investigation of Suhr on March 28, and school officials said they “immediately placed Suhr on leave.”
According to Iowa City police criminal complaints, Suhr, 30, performed a sexual act on a child under the age of 12 between January 1, 2016, and March 29, 2018.
Police say the child described at least two sex acts over an approximate two-year period, providing details only the victim and Suhr would know.
In a subsequent interview with police, Suhr admitted to performing sex act on the child on two different occasions, according to police.
He is charged with second degree sexual abuse, a Class B felony punishable by up to 25 years in prison.
Suhr on Saturday posted his $25,000 bond. His preliminary hearing is scheduled for May 1.
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Iowa City Police Sgt. Derek Frank said it appears at least one of the alleged incidents involving Suhr and the victim took place more than a year ago, before the Iowa City Community School District hired him as a temporary special education paraeducator.
Frank also noted, other than Suhr’s employment at Longfellow Elementary, the case has no connection to the school.
In the Iowa City school district’s Tuesday statement, officials said Suhr was hired after completing the district’s application and background check process.
School officials learned Suhr would be arrested “in the coming days” on April 18 and on April 21 Longfellow Elementary Principal Chris Pisarik sent a message to Longfellow families.
The message notified them that Suhr “was taken into custody by authorities due to alleged, non-school-related actions.”
“Families of the students who worked directly with this staff member have been personally notified of the situation,” the message stated. “We would like to reiterate that this is a personal legal matter that is not related to Longfellow Elementary.
“Our top priority is always student and staff safety and we evaluate every situation that occurs, making sure the proper measures are in place, to ensure a secure learning environment is maintained within our school.”
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