Police have revealed that a third-grade teacher has been arrested and charged with Institutional Sexual Assault, Unlawful Contact with a Minor, Indecent Assault, and Corruption of Minors.
The charges come after it emerged that James William Mentzer, 39, from Pennsylvania had repeatedly engaged in inappropriate conduct with five separate female students, one 8-year-old, one 9-year-old, and three 11-year-olds.
Part of this misconduct involved attempting to hypnotise the students using a necklace, forcing them to recite oaths of submission and loyalty, making the students call him “master” and reciting the phrases “I will obey you, master” and “I will obey your commands, master.”
It has also been revealed that he had the students perform puppet shows that he recorded using the classroom iPad.
Elementary school teacher allegedly had inappropriate contact with students— CTA513 (@CTA513) June 29, 2018
James William Mentzer, 39 - had inappropriate contact with five separate female students. One was 8, one was 9, and three were 11 years old at the time of the alleged contact.https://t.co/VUM4tbOqhf
Police were tipped off to the possibility of unusual contact between the students and Mentzer by the school after staff became suspicious of his behaviour.
Police then investigated and found that Mentzer had repeatedly called the same five students to his classroom to record them for a group project that was not part of any known curriculum or larger project within the school.
At least two of the girls reported Mentzer to their parents which in turn led to the school contacting police.
One of the girls described her experiences, saying that Mentzer found her in the hallway when she was on the way to recess. He asked her to come help him with something in the classroom.
It was just the two of them in the room together when Mentzer then asked the girl to read aloud from a “packet” that contained passages about “communities”.
He asked her to read the packets using a stuffed giraffe as a puppet, and he would become enraged if she did not read the lines as the giraffe.
3rd grade teacher James William Mentzer, 39, of Hummelstown, Pa tried to hypnotize young female students, force them to call him 'master,' police say - Fox News https://t.co/9MA6ZjuTto— mickimillar (@MickiMillar) July 1, 2018
He then rubbed her leg, her knee, and her groin area, ignoring the girl’s protests and requests for him to stop.
In another incident Mentzer had the girl wear a crown and a wand and a stuffed animal to hold while making her stare at a swinging necklace.
So far Mentzer is looking at a pretty severe conviction if he is found guilty, and his behaviour paints a pretty bizarre and perverse picture of a man who seemed fixated on power, domination, and control. Hopefully this is the last time his antics will ever find a home anywhere outside of a prison cell.