Philly school counselor arrested on sex assault charges
Bryan Sieber, a counselor at the High School for Creative and Performing Arts, is accused of institutional sexual assault and corrupting the welfare of children.
A counselor at the Philadelphia High School for Creative and Performing Arts has been arrested and charged with the sexual assault of a student.
Bryan Sieber, 50, of the 1200 block of Callowhill Street, was charged Tuesday with institutional sexual assault, endangering the welfare of children, and corruption of minors.
Police said an 18-year-old man in late October reported being assaulted by Sieber, saying about six sexual encounters happened while he was a 17-year-old student at CAPA this year, allegedly happened in the counselor's home, and yet another encounter happened inside a school office. Police said the teen provided investigators with copies of inappropriate sexual messages and photos he received on his cellphone from the accused.
Sieber, who started working for the Philadelphia School District in September 2009, was suspended without pay last month, the School District said.
"Our students' safety is our top priority and this type of alleged behavior will not be tolerated in any of our schools or by any of our staff," district spokesman Lee Whack said in a statement. "The counselor was immediately removed from the school when the School District learned of these allegations, allegations which led to an investigation by the Philadelphia Police Department and his arrest."
The school had emergency counseling and support on staff Wednesday, and will do so again after Thanksgiving break, district officials said.
"We are a family here at CAPA, and everything we do is focused on providing the highest-quality educational program and the safest environment possible for our students," principal Joanne Beaver said in a letter to parents. "Please be assured that the work we do at CAPA will remain strong and excellent."
Beaver also encouraged parents to discuss the situation with their children, and to stress "the importance of telling an adult they trust if they see or hear about any inappropriate behavior at school."