Counselors will be available on Monday to students and staff at Susquehanna Township High School following the arrest of an assistant principal.
Shawn Sharkey, 45, is accused of having a sexual relationship with a female student. He is charged with institutional sexual assault, corruption of minors and unlawful contact with a minor.
Sharkey turned himself into police on Saturday morning after an arrest warrant was issued Friday.
According to court documents, Sharkey rented rooms at motels in the Harrisburg area in order to have sexual contact with the female student. The incidents are alleged to have started in February 2013 while the student was 16 years old. The girl is now 17.
Mr. Sharkey has been terminated and an educator misconduct form is being filed with the state Department of Education,” said Dr. Susan Kegerise, superintendent. “It is our belief that this alleged illegal activity did not occur at school or on school property, nor during the school day.”
Sharkey had been at the school since January 2013 and previously worked for the Philadelphia School District as a dean of ninth grade students, according to a statement from the school district.
“Anyone experiencing emotions that might range from being sad to mad or sentiments of shock to puzzlement are encouraged to speak to trained crisis and support staff,” said Dr. Kegerise. “We are all upset about what has happened, and having an opportunity to share thoughts and feelings in a confidential setting is important to each individual’s personal well-being.”
In a statement released to the media on Friday Kegerise said that board members, educators, and students are sickened and saddened by the news and very concerned about those involved in this difficult situation.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Oct. 1.
Sharkey was released on $50,000 unsecured bail.