Philadelphia/ Crime & Emergencies
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Published on May 26, 2024
Former Chatsworth Elementary School Teacher Indicted on 28 Counts Including Sexual Assault of 14 StudentsSource: Office of the Burlington County Prosecutor

A former Burlington County special education teacher is facing an enlarged list of allegations as he is charged with sexually assaulting fourteen elementary students, doubling the count from an initial seven victims, the Burlington County Prosecutor's Office announced. Vincent Root, 59, formerly of Chatsworth Elementary School, is now indicted on a total of 28 counts, including 14 counts of sexual assault and 14 counts of endangering the welfare of a child, officials stated.

Root's additional charges surfaced following the September 2023 allegations from a student about being inappropriately touched by the teacher, which prompted more students to come forward. Although the identity of these minors have been guarded to protect their wellbeing, it is known that all victims are male, and the incidents allegedly took place during school hours inside Chatsworth Elementary, NBC Philadelphia reported.

The investigation that shed light on these abuses began after the initial claim was made public last year, leading to Root's first charge in October 2023. According to details from the court, he has pleaded not guilty at his arraignment last week, despite the damning reports. 6abc disclosed that while Vincent Root awaits his trial regarding these incidents, he is currently not in custody.

In response to the indictment, the community's shock has been palpable as parents and area residents grapple with the discomforting thought that someone charged with the care and education of children is now answering for such serious violations of trust. As the legal proceedings churn forward, the case raises unnerving questions about the safeguarding measures in place within our education systems—especially for the most vulnerable young souls, KYW Newsradio discussed.

The Burlington County Prosecutor's Office has not released further information regarding the ongoing investigations or any additional comment on the case at this time.