A teacher at Owen J. Roberts High School in Chester County has been charged with institutional sexual assault and related offenses after being accused of engaging in sexual conduct with a 17-year-old high school student in March, authorities said Friday.
Stephen Raught, 53, of Reading, allegedly kissed and performed sex acts with the girl at the school in South Coventry Township, the Chester County District Attorney’s Office said in a news release.
He has been placed on administrative leave, and the school district has been cooperating, prosecutors said.
Raught was arrested and charged Thursday and was released from the Chester County prison after posting $50,000 bail, according to court documents.
A voicemail message left on a number listed for him was not returned Friday. It was unclear if he had an attorney.
Raught taught social studies at the high school and was the ninth-grade baseball coach, according to the school district.
According to the criminal complaint, the Pennsylvania State Police was contacted March 24 about a ChildLine report involving the student and Raught. The student, interviewed two days later, told authorities that she attends the high school and had spent time with Raught in his classroom after school.
She said that on March 16, when schools were closed because of the coronavirus pandemic, she had gone to the school to retrieve some items with permission. She spotted Raught on school grounds, and they went to his classroom, where the alleged offenses occurred.
“I really wish I could take you home with me," Raught told the student, according to the complaint. “But we both know that would be very bad, and I wouldn’t be able to help myself.”
He also allegedly told her: “Too bad we have quarantine, or else you’d be in my classroom every day after school.”
Video surveillance showed Raught and the student together at the school, the District Attorney’s Office said.
“A teacher who violates his duty of care and protection of a minor will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” District Attorney Deb Ryan said in a statement. “We expect our children will be safe at school.”
In a news release Friday, the school district said it learned of the investigation April 6 and placed Raught, a teacher at the school since 2002, on administrative leave that day. Superintendent Susan Lloyd called the charges against Raught “disturbing.”
Authorities asked anyone with information about Raught to call the Pennsylvania State Police’s Embreeville barracks at 610-486-6280.
Raught also was charged with corruption of a minor, unlawful contact, and endangering the welfare of a child. A preliminary hearing was scheduled for May 27.