A 42-year-old man has been charged with statutory rape involving a 14-year-old girl while he was dean of students at a Mastery charter school in West Philadelphia, police said.
The girl was an eighth-grade student at Harrity Elementary School at 5601 Christian St. during the previous school year, police said.
At the end of the school year, Omar Harrison allegedly gave her a ride to a hotel in Tinicum Township near Philadelphia International Airport where the crime was committed, police said.
In a statement, Mastery Charter Schools said it learned about the alleged crime last Friday when the girl's mother came to the school to confront Harrison.
"At that time, we suspended Harrison, started an internal investigation, and began supporting police in their investigation. We have since terminated his employment," Mastery said.
"Inappropriate contact with students – of any kind – is unacceptable, and will not be tolerated at Mastery," the statement said.
Harrison, of Cheltenham, was arrested Wednesday by Tinicum Township police and also was charged with involuntary deviate sexual assault, sexual assault, and indecent sexual assault with someone under the age of 16.
He was being held at the George W. Hill Correctional Facility in Delaware County on $100,000 bail.
Anyone with information related to the case was urged to contact the Philadelphia Police Special Victims Unit at 215-685-3268 or 215-685-3263.
Mastery, a nonprofit charter school network, said that every employee is required to undergo "a rigorous screening process, including fingerprinting, FBI and state background checks. In addition, all staff members must complete training on appropriate student relationships and must sign off on our policy regarding proper and improper relationships with students."
Mastery added, "As we go forward, we will use this incident to review our safety and staff screening and training processes to ensure we take all necessary precautions to protect our students' safety and well-being."