At a preliminary hearing yesterday, District Judge Jennifer Rega ordered a Saltsburg High School shop teacher to stand trial on nine of the thirteen charges against him, but ordered the offenses of rape, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, aggravated indecent assault, and indecent assault dropped.
28-year-old Todd McCullough of Kiski Township, Armstrong County, is accused of having sexual relations with a female student in April of last year. Rega ruled that prosecutors did not present evidence that the sexual contact was forced on the girl, who was a sophomore at the time.
The girl testified that McCullough asked her to expose her chest to him, and later led her into a small room off his classroom and exposed himself to her. He later apologized, but she said that still later, he asked her back to the room and they had sexual relations there. She said she did not fight back and was not forced. Defense Attorney Duke George said McCullough did not have relations with the girl, but later said she was 16 years old and it was concensual.
The case came to light when other girls complained to school officials about similar conduct by McCullough approaching them and the investigation led to the victim, who said she had told only her best friend about the incident.
Judge Rega ordered McCullough held for trial on charges of sexual assault, intercourse with a student, aggravated indecent assault without consent, corruption of minors, indecent assault without consent, indecent exposure, harassment, disorderly conduct and open lewdness. She reduced his bond requirement from straight cash to ten percent of $150,000, but he was still in the Indiana County Jail as of last night. Meanwhile, authorities are still looking into the allegations made by the other students.