HARRISBURG, Pa. – An assistant principal at Susquehanna Township High School in Harrisburg faces criminal charges for allegedly having sex multiple times with a student.
Shawn Sharkey, 45, allegedly met the student, 16, for late night sexual rendezvous at local hotels between February and March this year, although both Sharkey and the student initially denied the relationship, PennLive.com reports.
The encounters, which took place on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, occurred on at least 10 different occasions, police told the news site, with Sharkey allegedly picking up the student at her home around 10 p.m. and returning her around 3 a.m.
“The alleged sexual relationship began after the student said she met Sharkey in the school nurse’s office. After some brief conversation, the student said she showed Sharkey pictures on her cell phone. As she was getting ready to go back to class, he gave her a piece of paper with his personal cell phone number, according to court documents,” PennLive.com reports.
“The initial meeting led to conversations that would last for several hours, the student told police. The relationship became sexual on Feb. 1 when Sharkey took her to an Econolodge and they had sex, according to court records.”
The student told police she also sent Sharkey pictures of her in her underwear, and her phone records confirmed numerous calls to and from Sharkey’s phone, the news site reports.
Sharkey is on administrative leave with pay as district officials work to terminate him.
“It is our belief that this did not occur at school or on school property, nor during the school day,” Susquehanna Township School District Superintendent Susan Kegerise said in a statement.
“On behalf of board members, educators, and students, we are sickened and saddened by the news, and are very concerned about those involved in this difficult situation,” the statement read, according to PennLive.com.
According to local union representative Carolyn Funkhouser, district officials were alerted to the possibility of an inappropriate relationship between Sharkey and a student as far back as May, and several more teachers voiced concerns to administrators in June.
The district conducted an internal investigation and “no substantiation to the rumor was made, and the investigation yielded no evidence,” district spokeswoman Susan Anthony told PennLive.com.
Susquehanna Township Police Chief Rob Martin told the news site authorities are also investigating “when things happened … when people knew about them (and) … who things were reported to.”
By Victor Skinner at EAGnews.org