Three more young men who claim they were touched inappropriately by a former Pittsburgh Public Schools police officer testified Wednesday in Allegheny County Common Pleas Court.
At their conclusion, the prosecution rested its case against Robert Lellock, who is charged with more than a dozen counts dating to 1998 when he worked at Arthur J. Rooney Middle School.
Unlike graphic testimony on the first day of trial in which a young man said he was repeatedly subjected to forcible oral sex by Mr. Lellock, two of the witnesses on Wednesday said that the man only touched them inappropriately, one time over their clothing.
In one instance, the third alleged victim said Mr. Lellock pulled him out of his classroom, took into a janitor's closet, put him up against a wall and searched him.
During the search, the witness said Mr. Lellock put his hand inside the boy's pocket and grabbed his genitals.
"I knew it wasn't normal," he said.
However, that was the only time there was any inappropriate contact, the witness said.
The police contacted him after the investigation into Mr. Lellock's conduct began last year.
The fourth alleged victim said that he was at lunch one day when he spoke with Mr. Lellock and walked out of the room with him.
They went upstairs to a janitor's closet, and he said the officer put a handcuff on his right hand, attached it to a shelf and then touched his testicles over his clothing.
"I thought it was weird," the witness said. "It was awkward."
Again, the man testified, it was the only time there was any touching.
On cross-examination by defense attorney Timothy Kidd, the man admitted that during a preliminary hearing he said he had been handcuffed to a locker and not a shelf.
The witness explained Wednesday that he said that because he didn't want the media to report that he willingly went into a closet with Mr. Lellock.
"I blame myself for going in the closet," he said. "I shouldn't have gone in the closet."
Another alleged victim, like the man who testified Tuesday, told the jury that when he was a 15-year-old student at the school, Mr. Lellock grabbed and squeezed his penis.
As they drove, there was a $50 bill in the console, and the witness said Mr. Lellock offered him the money and repeatedly asked for oral sex.
"He didn't get too far with me," he said.
The witness said he didn't tell anyone at the time.
"I was scared what he would do to me," the former student said.
"Why's that?" asked Assistant District Attorney Patrick Schulte.
"Him being a police officer," the former student said.
Once he rebuffed Mr. Lellock in the police car, the witness said, the officer stopped talking to him entirely.
On cross-examination by Mr. Kidd, the witness told the jury that he has filed a civil lawsuit against Mr. Lellock and Pittsburgh Public Schools.
"I feel like I was taken advantage of by a police officer," he said. "He should be punished for what he did. He knows what he did."
Also testifying Wednesday was Ronald Zangaro, the former Rooney Middle School principal. He said he was doing rounds near the end of a school day in May 1999 when he heard voices coming from an upstairs audio-visual room.
He pushed the door open and found an eighth-grade student inside, along with Mr. Lellock. They were several feet apart, and both claimed they were wrestling.
"I was stunned," the former principal said. "The behavior was certainly inappropriate."
Mr. Zangaro said he contacted Mr. Lellock's supervisor at the school police and an investigation was completed.
In a statement he wrote about the incident, Mr. Lellock said he understood that he was wrong to have allowed the boy to wrestle him.
"I realized that I should have told the student to go to class and should not have taken him to an isolated area because of the perception it causes."
Ultimately, Mr. Lellock received a 20-day suspension.
The case was referred a couple months later to the Pittsburgh police, but when Detective Tamara Hawthorne attempted to interview the boy found with Mr. Lellock, he refused to speak with her.
"That is so typical of child abuse cases with male on male victims," she said. "They try to run away from it."
That boy died in a car crash.
Paula Reed Ward: email@example.com, 412-263-2620 or on Twitter @PaulaReedWard.