William Barber was arrested Tuesday after students at Garnet Valley Middle School reported the gym teacher for a rumored sexual relationship with a girl that had been fueled by text messages and private messages on Twitter during the summer.
The girl even gave Barber nude photos, and the 38-year-old football coach’s disturbing responses to them were detailed in court documents. Garner is the father of three, including a 4-year-old girl who is battling brain cancer, and has a fourth child on the way.
“Wow you are a very sexy young lady,” Barber reportedly told the girl in a Sept. 9 message, according to documents obtained by the Delco Daily Times. The day before the alleged sexual assault, Barber then wrote: “I shouldn’t tempt myself.”
“But your body makes me crazy,” he wrote only a few minutes later.
The victim gave copies of Barber’s messages sent over Twitter to Pennsylvania state troopers.
Barber was placed on administrative leave Monday night as Garnet Valley School District officials made a police report.
He is charged with statutory sexual assault, unlawful contact with a minor, institutional sexual assault, corruption of a minor and indecent assault, court records show. He was arraigned Tuesday, but jail records show he has already been released on a $250,000 bail.
“We are acutely aware of how difficult this situation will be for our entire school community,” superintendent Marc Bertrando wrote in a statement Tuesday. “His school keys and access card were confiscated.”
The school has since removed Barber from their staff page, but cached archives of Garnet Valley’s website shows he also coached baseball.
The Delco Daily Times reports Barber met the victim when she was an eighth-grader in his gym class, but the sexual encounters didn’t occur until the first week of school this month when they kissed in his office.
They met again on Sept. 12 after Barber wrapped up football practice and while alone in his office and discussing the girl’s mother, they kissed again, moved to a backroom and had sex, according to the newspaper.
Barber and the teen apparently stopped having sex because it was the teen’s first time and it was painful, the Daily Times wrote.
Barber confirmed to the arresting officer, Trooper Mark Gibble, during an interview that the girl kissed him that day in the office and had sent him nude photos.
The school district is putting together a team of counselors and therapists to work with staff and students because “while this very popular, well-liked teacher certainly betrayed the community’s trust, there are many adults in their lives who can be trusted and relied upon,” Bertrando added.
Barber made headlines last week after appearing on WPVI-TV to tout the Lemon Shot Challenge to raise awareness for brain tumor research in honor of his daughter.