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Lower Dauphin School District teacher faces charges involving students 11 and younger

Press & Journal Staff

editor@pressandjournal.com

717-944-4628
Posted 6/28/18

A then-Lower Dauphin School District teacher had inappropriate contact with five female students ages 11 and younger and now faces multiple charges.

James William Mentzer, 39, of Hummelstown, was …

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Lower Dauphin School District teacher faces charges involving students 11 and younger

Posted

A Lower Dauphin School District teacher had inappropriate contact with five female students ages 11 and younger and now faces multiple charges, according to State Police.

James William Mentzer, 39, of Hummelstown, was charged Thursday with institutional sexual assault, unlawful contact with a minor, indecent assault, and corruption of minors (five counts) as the result of an in-depth child abuse investigation that began Feb. 16 at East Hanover Elementary School, East Hanover Township.

School administrators contacted the State Police in Harrisburg to report the suspected child abuse involving Mentzer. He was placed on administrative leave in February when allegations of misconduct were brought to the school’s attention, and he is still employed by the district.

The investigation revealed Mentzer had inappropriate contact with five female students — ages 8, 9, and three 11-year-olds — beginning in August 2017 at the school.

“Should the outcome of those proceedings meet the standards contained within the School Code, or should Mr. Mentzer no longer possess the credentials of a professional educator, the District will take appropriate actions to address his employment with the District, up to and including termination as may be required by law,” according to information provided by the district.

Mentzer has been an elementary school teacher with Lower Dauphin full-time since 2003. He is awaiting arraignment at the Dauphin County Judicial Center.

The State Police in Harrisburg were assisted by the East Hanover Elementary School administration, the Dauphin County District Attorney's Office, the Dauphin County Children’s Resource Center, and the Dauphin County Children & Youth Services.

Anyone with information about other possible victims is asked to contact the State Police in Harrisburg at 717-671-7500.