PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – A Gateway High School teacher has turned himself into police after an incident involving a student.
According to police, Franklin Joseph Vigo, Jr. is facing a list of charges including, institutional sexual assault, endangering the welfare of children, corruption of minors and indecent assault.
Vigo is a science teacher. The accusations were first brought forth last month, and since then he has been on paid administrative leave.
“I’m surprised and disappointed,” said defense attorney David Shrager. “The allegations are certainly untrue. We’re anxious to go to court and address these charges.”
According to officials, the student claims Vigo allegedly touched her buttocks. But Vigo’s attorney claims the incident never happened.
“We categorically deny these charges,” Shrager said. “My client has been an exemplary teacher. He denies this vehemently. There’s absolutely no truth to it whatsoever.”
In a criminal complaint, the girl told investigators, “Mr. Vigo touched her buttocks with his hand.” She said it was “not a full-on grab and squeeze, but not just a swipe or brush either.”
Authorities say she also claims Vigo “hovers around her desk,” “stares at her,” and she also feels he’s “trying to look down her shirt.”
“Unfortunately, we live in a society where accusations are enough to damn someone, especially when they’re involving students and sex,” Shrager said.
There was no immediate reaction from the school district on the latest developments. But when the accusations were first brought forth, a letter was sent home to parents alerting them to the investigation.
In the letter, the superintendent said:
“Gateway High School administrators were informed of these allegations on Tuesday, September 20th and immediately contacted child protective services and notified local law enforcement agencies. This allegation involves one student and stems from an incident within a classroom.”
Vigo is free on $50,000 bond. His preliminary hearing has been scheduled for Oct. 17.