Second alleged victim testifies in sex abuse trial of former Pittsburgh schools police officer
A former student at Arthur J. Rooney Middle School in the North Side testified Wednesday that Robert Lellock pulled him from class, took him into a janitor's closet and fondled him.
The man claimed the former Pittsburgh Public Schools police officer offered him $50 to perform sex acts, but he refused.
“I feel like I was (taken) advantage of by a police officer,” the man told an Allegheny County jury. “I feel like he needs to be punished. He knows what he did.”
The man, 15 years old at the time of the alleged assaults in 1998 or 1999, said he never told anyone until last year, when he saw Lellock on the news.
“I didn't say anything to nobody,” he said. “I was too ashamed of myself.”
Four men in their late 20s testified against Lellock this week during his trial before Common Pleas President Judge Donna Jo McDaniel. Assistant District Attorney Patrick Schulte rested his case, and defense attorney Timothy J. Kidd will present witnesses starting Thursday.
Closing arguments are scheduled for Monday.
Lellock, 44, of Beltzhoover is charged with crimes including indecent assault, corruption of minors, false imprisonment, official oppression and making terroristic threats.
Police began investigating in July 2012 when a former student reported that Lellock sexually assaulted him several times inside the janitor's closet in the late 1990s. The Tribune-Review does not identify alleged victims of sexual assault.
One alleged victim, now 28, told jurors that Lellock took him to the closet, slammed him against the wall and touched him through his pocket. Another alleged victim, now 29, told jurors that Lellock handcuffed him to a shelf in the closet and touched him over his pants.
Ronald Zangaro, the former principal of the school, told jurors he heard voices inside the closet on May 28, 1999, and walked in to find Lellock with another student, now deceased.
When Zangaro asked what they were doing, the student said they were “just wrestling.” Lellock told him they were getting ready to wrestle.
Zangaro said he notified Lellock's supervisor, and the district opened an investigation.
Pittsburgh police Detective Tamara Hawthorne said her department wasn't notified until seven weeks later and the victim refused to be interviewed, so the investigation went stale.
The Pittsburgh Board of Education ultimately suspended Lellock for 20 days.
Police charged Lellock after the statute of limitations had expired because state law later extended the time limit for child abuse and because Lellock was a public employee.
Adam Brandolph is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-391-0927 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Finding perfect pairing for Ehrhoff key for Penguins
- Ex-Brewers star Hart hopes to prove to Pirates he still can play
- Pirates sickened by pic of ‘Jihadi John’ wearing Bucs ball cap
- Pirates notebook: Tabata rediscovering his power
- At Pitt, a chance to make early impression under Narduzzi
- 3 charged with selling heroin that killed Lower Burrell woman
- Gorman: A victory for small-town teams
- Improved play against zone keys Pitt’s turnaround
- Indiana boys beat Beaver Falls for 1st WPIAL basketball title
- Body found in rubble after Shaler house fire
- Sale of former SCI Greensburg prison to advance despite lawmakers’ objections