SMITHFIELD TOWNSHIP, MONROE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – A teacher is accused of inappropriately touching underage students at an alternative school in the Poconos.
State police say he denies the allegations, but his social media accounts, and the victims, tell a different story.
According to court paperwork, a 13-year-old girl told the dean of students that she was touched inappropriately. The dean then spoke with other students, who shared similar accusations.
Jonathan Smith, 27, of Blakeslee taught at ‘PA Treatment and Healing’ in Smithfield Township. Here, counselors work with adolescents who are in trouble with the law or have mental health issues.
A 13-year-old girl says Smith touched her inappropriately and motioned for her, in an empty classroom, to perform oral sex. According to court papers, he also sent her inappropriate Facebook messages during school hours.
Troopers say other students came forward with similar stories, and messages. One student allegedly received a nearly-naked photo of Smith touching himself.
Investigators learned Smith was considered ‘a favorite teacher’, and would attempt to relate to students’ lives.
Eyewitness News reached out to PA Treatment and Healing, and was provided with a statement. It states, in part, “Mr. Smith’s employment was terminated as a result of the disclosed information and our internal investigation into this matter.”
PA Treatment and Healing leaders say they immediately contacted Childline, State Police, and the victim’s families. The CEO says all potential employees go through extensive background checks, which Smith cleared. The facility has extra counseling available for students.
Smith is behind bars in Monroe County, unable to post $250,000 dollars bail. He is due back in court next month, facing three felonies and one misdemeanor charge.