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South Allegheny teacher pleads guilty to sex crimes

An ex-teacher from the South Allegheny Middle School is claiming that his constitutional rights were violated the day he resigned as a social studies teacher and went to Allegheny County police headquarters to talk to detectives in an effort to tell his side of the story. The man’s attorney says that he felt as though “he could not leave” from the time he got there, showing up willfully and on his own. He alleges that detectives told him not to respond to phone calls or text messages from his parents. He was soon arrested on charges of sex crimes, admitting that inappropriately touched and exchanged messages with girls ages twelve and seventeen. During his hearing this past Monday, in which he pled guilty to institutional sexual assault and endangering a minor, the man told the court that he “…never felt [he] was free to leave from the moment [he] was escorted in,” said the 23-year-old man. He added, “I didn’t expect to be incarcerated for seven days, and I didn’t expect I wouldn’t be able to call my mom and dad for legal advice.” The man is contesting the charges against the 17-year-old girl, which include institutional sexual assault, disseminating explicit material to a minor, and indecent assault. The charges to which he has pled guilty carry with them a maximum sentence of fourteen years. The man’s attorney have recommended five years of probation and twenty-five years as a registrant on the sex offenders list. The man’s attorney says that the man’s recorded statements to police and the data recovered from his mobile phone should not be allowed to be used for his February trial, arguing that the police interrogation and seizure of his mobile phone violated his rights. That request was denied by the judge. The man claims he came home after that April day to find a detective’s business card tucked into his front door. The man says the detective urged him to come to headquarters to talk that afternoon. When he arrived after business hours, he was escorted to an interrogation room, where detectives left him un-cuffed and asked him not to touch his phone. McLaughlin said he felt as though he “wasn’t allowed” to answer when his mother called. The judge said, “I’ve read the Constitution, and nowhere does it say you have the right to a cellphone.” The man also allegedly gave detectives permission to search his mobile phone. He unlocked the phone and removed its password. Police said he used it to communicate with the girls using SnapChat and other applications. His hearing is set for 8 February 2016. If you have questions about sex crimes, or you have been accused of sex crimes in Pennsylvania, call Pittsburgh sex crimes attorney Gary Gerson today for a free consultation at 412-219-6875 . Source: TribLive.com, “Former South Allegheny teacher pleads guilty to institutional sexual assault of 12-year-old” 7 December 2015

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