Former Delone Catholic HS teacher charged for his alleged inappropriate relationship with student
ADAMS COUNTY — The Adams County District Attorney’s Office announced Thursday that a former teacher at Delone Catholic High School has been arrested and charged for his alleged inappropriate relationship with a 16-year-old student.
Gary Hatez Jr., 31, faces two counts of sexual abuse of children and one count each of unlawful contact with a minor, corruption of minors and criminal use of a communication facility.
Hatez, of Hanover, allegedly had inappropriate contact and communication with the student, in which he purchased a pair of thong underwear for the student and gave it to her as a gift, on school grounds, for her birthday, according to charging documents.
School officials alerted McSherrystown Borough Police of the above allegations when they confronted him about them on March 27. The teacher was immediately suspended and subsequently resigned.
An investigation determined that Hatez and the student exchanged “thousands of text messages” from November 2017 to March 2018, charging documents state.
“It was discovered from the examination of the (student’s) phone, that the defendant and student were exchanging several texts that included texts from the defendant asking and persuading the student to ‘prove’ that she was wearing a pair of thong lace underwear,” Chief Michael Woods wrote in the charging documents.
In the coming days after allegedly receiving the “proof,” Hatez requested that the student delete all texts because “some people may get the wrong idea,” charging documents say.
Hatez graduated from Delone Catholic in 2004 and obtained a teaching position there four years later. In 2017, he earned the Golden Apple award, which symbolizes a teacher’s professional excellence, leadership, commitment to Catholic values, and devotion to teaching in Catholic schools.
Hatez is currently incarcerated in Adams County Prison. His bail has been set at $100,000.
Delone Catholic High School issued this statement:
With sadness Delone Catholic High School has learned that criminal charges have been filed against a former staff member, Mr. Gary Hatez. Information regarding certain activities of Mr. Hatez was brought to the attention of the school administration at the end of March. In keeping with Diocesan policy Mr. Hatez was immediately placed on administrative leave, and the appropriate civil authorities were notified. Mr. Hatez subsequently resigned his position at Delone Catholic.
A faculty member of a Catholic school is rightly held to the highest standards of personal conduct. Diocesan policy notes that actions which may be criminal or are deemed unprofessional in nature may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination.
We are also saddened for our students and their families who place their trust in our faculty and staff. It is our intention to always maintain student safety as our paramount priority. Let us remember all of those involved in our prayers.