Not So Hot to Trot Teach Charged with Institutional Sexual Assault of Unlucky Student

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from – An East Stroudsburg High School North art teacher sexually assaulted a 16-year-old student at her home, police say.

High School Principal Steven Zall reported an April 8 anonymous phone call he received to state police regarding an inappropriate relationship between Cynthia Hartopp, 28, 147 N. Ninth St., Apt. 3, Stroudsburg, and a student.

State Police at Blooming Grove interviewed the 16-year-old student on April 11 and April 26, and learned he was a previous student of Ms. Hartopp and kept in contact because she helped him with course work from another class.

The Times-Tribune does not identify victims of sexual assault.

Since she recently broke up with her boyfriend, she asked him in February if he wanted to “hang out with her after school,” he told police. They began meeting at her apartment.

The first time at her apartment, they ate, watched television and played on the computer. In the subsequent five or six visits, they kissed while he touched, and attempted to touch, her body. The 16-year-old told police he wanted to have sex with her and believed it was going to happen.

Police said the student recalled one text message where she asked if he was a virgin.

When police interviewed Ms. Hartopp on April 24, she admitted the student had been to her apartment on numerous occasions.

Police arrested her on charges of institutional sexual assault, corruption of minors and unlawful contact with minor.

East Stroudsburg School District placed Ms. Hartopp on unpaid leave April 9, district superintendent Sharon S. Laverdure said in a statement. Her annual salary in the 2010-11 school year was $40,770.

“When charges are filed against a professional employee, the Board of Education will handle the case in accordance with the procedures established in the School Code,” she said.

Ms. Hartopp is in Monroe County Correctional Facility in lieu of $15,000 bail. Her preliminary hearing is scheduled for Monday.

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