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Report: At least 135 teachers, aides have been charged with child sex crimes so far this year

At least 135 teachers and teachers’ aides have been arrested so far this year on child sex-related crimes in the U.S., which range from viewing child pornography to raping students. 102 of the arrests directly involved students.

An analysis conducted by Fox News Digital looked at local news stories week by week featuring arrests of teachers and teachers’ aides on child sex-related crimes in school districts across the country. Arrests that weren’t publicized were not added to the analysis, which means the number may be higher.

On April 11, police in California charged Anthony James Phillips, a 61-year-old former teacher at Cupertino Middle School in Sunnyvale, with aggravated sexual assault of a child, forcible penetration with a foreign object, and forcible penetration with a foreign object upon a child. Phillips is accused of raping a student in 2009 when he was still a teacher at Cupertino.

Anessa Paige Gower, who is a 35-year-old former biology teacher at Making Waves Academy in Richmond, California, was charged with 29 counts of child molestation on April 8.

Gower is accused of sexually abusing seven students between 2021-2022 when she was a teacher at Making Waves, with allegations including forcible sodomy of minors and sharing sexually graphic photos over online platforms. She is due back in court on June 2.

John M. Doty, who is a 35-year-old former biology teacher at Career Academy South Bend in Indiana, was charged with two counts of rape, one count of attempted rape and six counts of child seduction on Feb. 9. 

Doty is accused of repeatedly raping a 16-year-old female student and threatening to kill her. He is scheduled to stand trial in January 2023.

Danielle Fischer, who is a 29-year-old former substitute teacher in the Roxana and Alton school districts, was charged with criminal sexual assault and aggravated criminal sexual abuse on Feb. 4. 

Fischer is accused of sexually assaulting two teenage male students at her home in Edwardsville during summer break last year. A Madison County grand jury later added child pornography to the charges. 

The analysis found that at least 135 teachers and teachers’ aides have been arrested in 41 states between January 1 and May 13, which works out to about an arrest a day on average. The study also found that the majority of those arrested were male.

Erika Sanzi, who is adirector of outreach for Parents Defending Education, told Fox News Digital that the issue of teacher sex crimes against students needs to be more thoroughly examined by the federal government. She cited the Department of Education’s 2004 report, which claimed that nearly 9.6% of students are targets of educator sexual misconduct sometime during their school career.

“Educator sexual abuse is a major problem that largely gets ignored because it’s so uncomfortable to talk about,” Sanzi said in a statement. “While a very small fraction of educators and school employees prey on the children in their care, one bad actor can do damage to many students.” 

“The last federally commissioned study on the issue was in 2004, pre-smart phone and those who study the issue closely say that the problem has been exacerbated by the ease of communication that a smart phone provides,” she continued.

“We need to get much more honest about the problem, study it again and ensure that we have policies and laws in place that protect children. It is currently legal in Massachusetts and Rhode Island for teachers and other adults in positions of authority to have sexual relationships with students once they turn 14. After a 5-year effort, RI finally appears poised to change that this year.”

ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH

MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: FOX 29

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Paul, 37, is from Scotland in the UK, but currently lives and works in Bangkok. Paul has worked in different industries such as telemarketing, retail, hospitality, farming, insurance, and teaching, where he works now. He teaches at an all-girls High School in Bangkok. “It’s a lot of work, but I love my job.” Paul has an active interest in politics. His reason for writing for FBA is to offer people the facts and allow them to make up their own minds. Whilst he believes opinion columns have their place, it is also important that people can have accurate news with no bias.

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