Hot to Trot Teach: Cynthia Hartopp

Not So Hot to Trot Teach Charged with Institutional Sexual Assault of Unlucky Student

from www.thetimes-tribune.com - An East Stroudsburg High School North art teacher sexually assaulted a 16-year-old student at her home, police say.

High School Principal Steven Zall reported an April 8 anonymous phone call he received to state police regarding an inappropriate relationship between Cynthia Hartopp, 28, 147 N. Ninth St., Apt. 3, Stroudsburg, and a student.

State Police at Blooming Grove interviewed the 16-year-old student on April 11 and April 26, and learned he was a previous student of Ms. Hartopp and kept in contact because she helped him with course work from another class.

The Times-Tribune does not identify victims of sexual assault.

Since she recently broke up with her boyfriend, she asked him in February if he wanted to "hang out with her after school," he told police. They began meeting at her apartment.

The first time at her apartment, they ate, watched television and played on the computer. In the subsequent five or six visits, they kissed while he touched, and attempted to touch, her body. The 16-year-old told police he wanted to have sex with her and believed it was going to happen.

Police said the student recalled one text message where she asked if he was a virgin.

When police interviewed Ms. Hartopp on April 24, she admitted the student had been to her apartment on numerous occasions.

Police arrested her on charges of institutional sexual assault, corruption of minors and unlawful contact with minor.

East Stroudsburg School District placed Ms. Hartopp on unpaid leave April 9, district superintendent Sharon S. Laverdure said in a statement. Her annual salary in the 2010-11 school year was $40,770.

"When charges are filed against a professional employee, the Board of Education will handle the case in accordance with the procedures established in the School Code," she said.

Ms. Hartopp is in Monroe County Correctional Facility in lieu of $15,000 bail. Her preliminary hearing is scheduled for Monday.

UPDATE - from www.mcall.com - An East Stroudsburg North High School teacher, previously arrested for sexual misconduct with a student, faces additional charges for performing oral sex on another student, then 17, in February.

Cynthia Hartopp, 28, of Stroudsburg, was arraigned this morning before Magisterial District Judge Kristina Anzini on new charges of institutional sexual assault, corruption of minors, unlawful contact with a minor and criminal use of a communication facility for the sexual relationship she had with a now 18-year-old male teen.

Ms. Hartopp was arrested on June 5 for having an inappropriate relationship with a 16-year-old boy at her home, also in February. According to a news release from the school district, Ms. Hartopp, an art teacher, was hired on Feb. 19, 2008. Her annual salary in the 2010-2011 school year was $40,770.

District Director of Administrative Services, Eric Forsyth, said in a June 5 e-mail that she was placed on uncompensated leave from April 9, a day after the district learned of the allegations and forwarded them to state police, to April 22. She was then placed on compensated leave from April 23 until the date of the e-mail. Efforts to reach district Superintendent Sharon S. Laverdure and Mr. Forsyth were not immediately successful.

She was remanded to the Monroe County Correctional Facility in lieu of $50,000 bail. She had previously made $15,000 bail after her previous arrest through private surety, according to court records. She also waived her new preliminary hearing at her arraignment, state police said.

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