Saltsburg High School teacher ordered to trial on student's sexual assault claim

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Four charges against a Saltsburg High School teacher accused of sexually assaulting a student on school grounds were dismissed at a preliminary hearing Wednesday, including what his defense attorney called the most serious ones.

District Judge Jennifer Rega threw out charges of rape, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, indecent assault and aggravated indecent assault charges against Todd D. McCullough, 28, of Apollo.

During the preliminary hearing, she also ordered him to stand trial on charges of sexual assault, institutional sexual assault, another type of aggravated indecent assault, corruption of a minor, and related charges.

Indiana County district attorney Patrick Dougherty said he thinks the judge dismissed those particular charges because of lack of evidence, but said he is satisfied and understands her decision.

"There was never any evidence presented that this teacher had forced her or threatened her in order to do this behavior," he said, noting that doesn't mean the accuser consented to the actions.

He added later: "What he's facing is still very serious."

Defense attorney Duke George said he thinks the accuser's credibility "is shot."

"He had no sexual contact with this girl at all," he said of his client. "None."

Pennsylvania State Police at the Indiana barracks wrote in a criminal complaint that Mr. McCullough, an industrial technology teacher, touched the girl inappropriately and, in the spring of 2012, had sex with her in a back room near the shop.Mr. McCullough remains in the Indiana County Jail.

Mr. McCullough is in the Indiana County Jail. His bail had been set at $150,000 cash but has been reduced so he must post 10 percent of the $150,000 to win release.

Mr. George said he hopes his client will be released sometime this week.


Molly Born: mborn@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1944. Twitter: @borntolede.


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