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'He was touching us': Warrants detail accounts of victims, staff in Plymouth school sexual misconduct case

Two principals are among the four recently arrested in the case.

PLYMOUTH, Conn — As a new school year begins in the small western Connecticut town of Plymouth, FOX61 is taking a closer look into the arrest warrants released in an ongoing alleged sexual misconduct case involving a former teacher.

Four new separate arrest warrants were made public last week. They are filled with personal accounts and victims' interviews accusing some school staff of trying to placate concerned parents and students amid active accusations of sexual misconduct at the Plymouth Center School.

“All of my kids went to Plymouth Center School,” remarked a Plymouth parent who requested to remain anonymous.

RELATED: 4 arrested for knowing of sex assault incidents at Plymouth school and not reporting them

The district is trying and escape the shadow of a circle of sexual misconduct allegedly perpetrated by former teacher James Eschert and allegedly covered up by four other school personnel.

It was finally reported to DCF by the Principal of a separate school in town.

“The kids have to come first, especially if you dedicate your whole career to them,” said the Plymouth mom.

The women, Sherri Turner, Crystal Collins, Rebecca Hollaran and Melissa Morelli, are charged with failing to report sexual abuse. They were released on a promise to appear.

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“If I thought somebody was hurting children, I’d turn them in no matter who they were,” said the mother, whose son had Mr. Eschert in 3rd grade. “I remembered something that my son said to me when he was in his class. He was having problems with some assignments. He didn’t do a couple of assignments and I said 'isn’t your teacher going to be mad at you that you didn’t do that' and he said 'no, Mr. Eschert really only pays attention to the girls.'”

The warrants related to the new arrests tell the story of stagnant school leaders including former Principals Sherri Turner and Crystal Collins. They allegedly fielded emails from parents asking their children to be switched out of Eschert’s class and had conversations with students.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Former Plymouth teacher pleads not guilty to sex assault, risk of injury charges

One instance was a student telling Turner, “He was touching us inappropriately…we want you to do something about it.”

To which Mrs. Turner allegedly replied, “We’ll work on it.”

Credit: FOX61

Eschert is believed to have abused more than a dozen victims over several years. Police discovered inappropriate images on his camera.

All four women will be arraigned in New Britain Superior Court. Some on Sept. 7, others on Sept. 12. Town and School District Leaders remain tight-lipped but told FOX61 parents should be assured that student safety is the top priority.

Matt Caron is a reporter at FOX61 News. He can be reached at mcaron@fox61.com. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


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