Montrose Area teachers testify in sexual assault trial

teacherverification October 4, 2012 0



A pair of Montrose Area High School teachers testified Tuesday they heard an exchange outside their classroom between the victim of an alleged sex assault and the teacher accused of the crime.

Testimony resumed Tuesday morning in Susquehanna County Court in the sexual assault trial of Jeffrey Norris.







Mr. Norris, 31, of Montrose, is accused of having a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old female student in 2007. Mr. Norris also is accused of surreptitiously recording conversations with school administrators, including one where he was allegedly questioned about his relationship with the victim.

The Times-Tribune does not identify victims of sexual assault.

Charlene Kempa testified that she was in her classroom when she heard the victim exchanging words with Mr. Norris outside her door. Ms. Kempa said she pulled the victim into her classroom.

“She was hysterical, up against the door, then she slid down the wall and fell to the floor, screaming and crying about a relationship between her and Mr. Norris, a sexual relationship,” Ms. Kempa said. “There was a falling out, a breaking up with her, or something along those lines.”

Ms. Kempa said she and her sister, Charlotte Sherwood, who taught the same class together, decided to go to the high school Principal James Tallerico. They testified they were not satisfied Mr. Tallerico would investigate so Ms. Kempa said she turned to Superintendent Michael Ognosky. She prepared a written statement, which said that the victim came to her room and told her Mr. Norris was breaking up with her.



John Flannery, deputy prosecutor of the state attorney general’s office, asked if the victim said anything beyond her allegations that she was in an intimate relationship with the teacher.

Ms. Sherwood said the victim told them she and the defendant were doing drugs together. “I’m not sure, I think I remember drinking (alcohol), pot … I think I remember cocaine,” said Ms. Sherwood.

Wayne County Judge Raymond Hamill is presiding over the trial.

Contact the writer: swilson@

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This article was written by STACI WILSON AND PAT FARNELLI and originally published on thetimes-tribune

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