LaPorte County, Ind. (www.incnow.tv) – Authorities in LaPorte County have arrested the former South Adams Elementary School principal on multiple charges involving sexual misconduct with a minor.
Brian Strauss‘ arrest is the result of an investigation that was initiated after a complaint was made of an inappropriate relationship between the educator and a former student. Strauss resigned from his position on October 3.
The relationship doesn’t involve his work in the South Adams School District but from a previous employment in another county.
The incidents were alleged to have occurred at South Central School in LaPorte County where Strauss was a teacher prior to his employment at South Adams.
According to the probable cause affidavit, a female reported to the LaPorte County Sheriff’s Office in late August that she had an inappropriate relationship with Strauss when he was a teacher at South Central. She told the officer inappropriate incidents within the relationship occurred over a four year period.
The female told the officer that the relationship began through an online conversation in the summer of 2008. In fall 2008, when the female’s freshman year of high school began, the conversations turned sexual, according to the documents.
The probable cause report says the conversations involved masturbation and also says that Strauss encouraged the girl to perform it. Documents also say he asked that she touch herself on web-camera.
In the period between her freshman and sophomore years, according to the probable cause affidavit, the girl says she had several sexual encounters at South Central School with Strauss. These incidents allegedly involved fondling of the girl’s private areas and other sex acts. The documents say she performed oral sex on Strauss.
In 2009, while in drivers education where Strauss was the instructor, court documents say more sexual encounters occurred. The two allegedly set up fictitious additional drivers training courses so that the two could be together.
On September 29, according to the affidavit, Strauss admitted to police that he had a relationship with the female that involved online conversations that discussed masturbation and encounters involving nudity. He also, according to the documents, admitted to the fabricated drivers education training sessions. Strauss, according to the affidavit, said no physical contact occurred and that he tried to end the relationship with the female on more than one occasion. He said, according to the documents, that she assured him that their relationship was OK. He allegedly told police that he did not believe his relationship with the female was unlawful.
Strauss was arrested at his home without incident Thursday afternoon and taken to the LaPorte County Jail. Bond has been set at $35,000.
Officials within the South Adams School District released the following statement:
"The South Adams Community is saddened to hear the news of Mr. Strauss’ arrest. The school first learned that there was an investigation in LaPorte County when he resigned the first week in October. But we did not know the details of the investigation. Mr. Strauss came to South Adams in 2010 after completing an extensive application process and with superb recommendations from his supervisors and colleagues at South Central Schools. The LaPorte County Sheriff’s Department told me that the arrest does not involved any wrongdoing during his presence at South Adams Schools. Rather, it is the result of an investigation that was initiated after a report of an inappropriate relationship between Mr. Strauss and a former student at South Central Schools."
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