Teacher at CAPA school in Downtown Pittsburgh accused of sexually abusing student
A teacher has resigned from his job at the Creative and Performing Arts 6-12 school in Downtown Pittsburgh after being charged with sexually abusing a student, officials said.
Samuel Karas, 28, of Carrick, was charged Wednesday with institutional sexual assault, court records show.
Karas — who has taught at the CAPA magnet school at 9th Street and Fort Duquesne Boulevard for the past six years — is accused of going on several “dates” with a female student under 18 and making indecent sexual contact with her, a criminal complaint said.
Karas could not immediately be reached. An attorney for Karas is not yet listed in court records.
Karas began working at CAPA on October 2013 as a part-time production technology teacher, then became a full-time teacher there in 2015, Pittsburgh Public Schools spokeswoman Ebony Pugh said.
District officials learned of the allegations against him on June 10, the day before school let out for summer for most students, Pugh said.
The district filed a report the same day with Childline, a hotline that tracks reports of child abuse across Pennsylvania, and placed Karas on paid administrative leave, Pugh said.
On July 18, Karas resigned from the district, with a retroactive effective date of June 14, the last day of the 2018-19 school year for PPS teachers, Pugh said.
“We immediately sent the teacher home,” Pugh said. “As the district was completing their due process, the teacher resigned.”
Police learned about the Childline report on June 12, and detectives with Pittsburgh police’s Sex Assault and Family Crisis unit began investigating, the complaint said.
Police say they learned from the victim — who was under 18 last year and recently graduated from CAPA — that Karas began spending time alone with her in June 2018, the complaint said.
After “a series of dates,” Karas’ behavior escalated during a specific incident on Dec. 2 when Karas invited the student to his home, according to the complaint.
The girl told police she dropped off her sister at a mall and then went to the house. Karas was still in the shower when she arrived, and she waited outside on the porch until he let her in, the complaint said.
Once inside, Karas gave the girl a tour of his home and suggested they watch TV together, the complaint said. In the kitchen, Karas began drinking an alcoholic beverage while the girl drank water.
They moved to the living room couch, “where (Karas) put his legs over hers and covered her with a blanket,” police wrote in the complaint.
Karas started kissing the girl for several minutes, then “moved her onto his lap during the kissing,” the complaint said.
The former teacher then told the girl that he wanted a “serious relationship” with her and “that he had deleted all of his dating apps from his cellphone,” the complaint said. He kissed her again as she was leaving and he was saying good night, the girl told police.
The district sent a report on the allegations to the Department of Education in June, Pugh said. She said school officials had not received any such prior allegations or complaints regarding Karas.
Natasha Lindstrom is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Natasha at 412-380-8514, [email protected] or via Twitter .