A teacher’s aide who was accused of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old student at a school for children with developmental and emotional issues has died by suicide, the Bucks County District Attorney’s Office said Monday.
Jennilynne Derolf, 38, of Levittown, was charged in July with involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, statutory sexual assault, institutional sexual assault, and related offenses. She pleaded not guilty and was freed after posting $10,000 bail.
On Sunday, police said, she shot herself in the head as the victim looked on. The victim’s grandparents contacted police Sunday, saying Derolf had reached out to the boy to arrange a meeting, in violation of the conditions of her bail, according to law enforcement officials. When police found Derolf and the teen parked along a secluded road in Falls Township, authorities said, she shot herself. She was pronounced dead at the scene. The boy was not injured.
Derolf had worked as a teacher’s aide at Valley Day School in Falls Township, an institution that caters to students with special needs. There, she befriended the teenager and began messaging him through Discord, a social media app, according to the affidavit of probable cause for her arrest.
The boy’s grandparents discovered the relationship and notified police, the affidavit said.
In an interview, the boy told detectives that what began as friendly conversation between the two led to in-person meetings at places in Lower Bucks County, including Levittown Lake and Falls Township Park. Starting in June, the affidavit said, Derolf initiated intimate contact with the boy, and investigators learned of at least three incidents inside her vehicle in the weeks before her arrest.