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Chester County Press

Teacher charged with sexual abuse of a student

08/26/2021 01:04AM ● By Steven Hoffman

Luis Morales, a 56-year-old teacher who lives in West Chester, is being charged with sexual abuse of a student for incidents that allegedly took place between 2014 and 2016, when the child was in the third grade and fourth grade at the Nottingham Elementary School in Oxford.

The Chester County District Attorney’s Office and the the Oxford Borough Police Department announced Morales’ arrest on Aug. 25.

According to the complaint, a 14-year-old child reported being sexually abused by the defendant, her ESL teacher, when she was an elementary school student. This report was made to the Oxford Borough Police Department in June of 2021.

An investigation resulted in Morales being charged with multiple counts of aggravated indecent assault, institutional sexual assault, corruption of minors, and related offenses. 

Morales taught English as a Second Language (ESL) at the Oxford Area School District until 2016, and was suspended in June 2021 from the Phoenixville Area School District, where he had been working for the past five years.

When the charges were announced, Chester County District Attorney Deb Ryan noted that there has been an increase in the number of cases where students are being abused by people in positions of trust.

“Chester County is seeing an unacceptable wave of students who have been sexually abused in our elementary, middle, and high schools,” Ryan said. “It is imperative that we implement safeguards in our schools and any other place children are to protect them from predators. Adults need to engage in oversight by watching out for children. Anyone who works with children has a legal obligation as a mandated reporter, but all adults have a moral responsibility to do the right thing to protect them. We must do better.”

According to the District Attorney’s Office, the victim reported to Oxford Borough police that when she was in third grade, the defendant asked her to stay after school, and then he proceeded to touch her chest and genitals. On subsequent occasions, the defendant allegedly continued to sexually abuse her regularly by digitally penetrating the victim’s vagina and anus. These incidents occurred throughout the third grade and fourth grade, and the abuse only stopped in 2016, when the student graduated from the fourth grade, the victim alleged.

Morales was arraigned and was able to post bail set by Magisterial District Judge Scott Massey at $350,000. A preliminary hearing is set for Sept. 28.

The Oxford Borough Police Department is continuing to lead the investigation, and assistant district attorney Christine Abatemarco is the assigned prosecutor. 

If you have any information about this case, please contact Detective Christopher Coverly at 610-998-0032 ext. 302.

Additionally, if you suspect a child is being abused, call the Childline at 1-800-932-0313. 

Learn to recognize, react, and respond to child sexual abuse by signing up for a free virtual Stewards of Children workshop. Contact County Coordinator Katie Walters at [email protected] or 610-344-6115.