Last Updated on October 19, 2022
A middle school teacher in southeastern Pennsylvania and has been arrested and charged with molesting a 13-year-old child. The Berks County teacher is also accused of sending explicit videos to minors.
Michael J. Conner Jr., 38, has been charged Monday with sexual abuse of children, institutional sexual assault, aggravated indecent assault, corruption of minors, and other crimes. Berks County detectives first became aware of the abuse on September 19, when social services alerted them that Conner had sent the child sexually explicit videos.
Detectives later interviewed the victim, whose gender has not been revealed. The child told law enforcement that Conner first approached them on social media, and that the messages soon became sexually explicit.
“The juvenile victim disclosed that this teacher sent pictures and videos depicting himself performing sexual acts, and that he would request similar videos in return,” the Berks County District Attorney’s office said in a statement Monday.
“It was also disclosed that on more than one occasion, the defendant would pick up the juvenile victim in his vehicle after school and drive them to a secluded location. During one of these encounters, he sexually abused the juvenile victim,” the statement continued.
Conner had been employed as a fifth grade teacher in the Reading School District since 2020. The district told local outlet WGAL that a mandatory background check did not uncover any red flags that made them suspicious of his activities.
“Our priority, today and every day, is to ensure the safety of our students and staff. A crisis team has been made available at for any student or staff member who needs to talk,” the district told WGAL.
The number of school teachers who have been arrested for molesting students in 2022 has alarmed many. According to a recent report from Fox News, at least 269 K-12 teachers have been arrested for sex crimes against students in the first nine months of 2022.