Investigation of alleged sex abuse could be 'extensive'
State police are investigating the possibility that more students may accuse a Saltsburg Middle/High School teacher of inappropriate contact.
Trooper John Matchik said it is “well within the realm of possibility” that Todd Deven McCullough, 28, of Kiski Township, Armstrong County, who was charged on Thursday with raping a female student, victimized others.
“We may have just scratched the surface,” Matchik said. “This could be an extensive investigation.”
McCullough, the school's industrial arts teacher, is accused of assaulting the girl in a room in the school in April 2012.
Police said McCullough was suspended about a week ago by the Blairsville-Saltsburg School District when a different female student reported unwanted contact.
No additional charges had been filed as of Friday afternoon. An attorney for McCullough was not listed on online court records.
District officials said the only statement they would provide was posted on the district website. It indicates that an internal investigation was conducted and administrators are cooperating with police.
Messages left with several school board and Saltsburg Elementary School Parent Teacher Association members were not returned.
School director George Rowley said he was pleased by the quick response to the allegations.
“I am pleased that we got him out as soon as we found out about” the accusations, Rowley said. “The kids are first.”
McCullough is being held in the Indiana County Jail on $150,000 bail.
Police claim in a criminal complaint that he touched the 16-year-old girl inappropriately for several years before the sexual assault in April 2012.
McCullough touched the girl's hips, massaged her shoulders and complimented her appearance, police said. In April 2012, he allegedly asked her repeatedly to show him her breasts while they were in the work area of a shop room.
The girl refused and later was asked by McCullough to come with him into a “small, isolated back room,” the complaint said.
McCullough exposed himself, and the girl fled, police said. A week later, he apologized, according to an affidavit of probable cause.
A few days later, he again took the girl into the back room, where he sexually assaulted her, police said.
Toward the end of the 2011-12 school year, he told the victim that he hoped she would be “mature about this,” the affidavit said.
McCullough graduated from California University of Pennsylvania in May 2009 with a bachelor's degree in technology education. Newspaper archives show he was named to the dean's list at least twice.
His teaching certification was issued in June 2009, and the district hired him that August.
He was at the school for an administrative hearing on Thursday when he was arrested, police said.
He was appointed sophomore class adviser in October 2010 and volunteer middle-high school football coach for the 2009-10 season. The board granted him tenure in August 2012.
McCullough is charged with rape, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, sexual assault, institutional assault, corruption of minors, indecent exposure, harassment, disorderly conduct, open lewdness and two counts each of aggravated indecent assault and indecent assault.
A Nov. 13 preliminary hearing is scheduled before District Judge Jennifer J. Rega.
Renatta Signorini is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-837-5374 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.
- Witnesses recount Franklin Regional stabbing
- Trio of concerts to mark Greensburg’s holiday season
- Former Hempfield Area director makes guest appearance at University of Alabama
- Westmoreland County Judge Regoli has 5 days to decide on whether he’ll ask for recount
- Bill to name interchange for fallen Youngwood firefighter advances
- Hempfield property tax addition pushed as township’s fire departments struggle
- North Huntingdon dietitian receives state honors
- Hempfield company formerly known as Cabco to close down on Friday; 27 to lose jobs
- Southwest Greensburg council opts to hold line on taxes in 2016
- Jeannette Fire Department celebrates centennial