NBC10Philadelphia.com - Rosemary Connors
A local high school choir director is accused of groping his students. As his students tour through London during the Olympics, Tyron Dinkins, who appeared on NBC10, has agreed to turn himself in to police for allegedly inappropriately touching eight teenage girls between the ages of 16 and 19.
A Bucks County music teacher, whose choral group was good enough to perform at the Olympics, is accused of inappropriate contact with several female students.
According to court documents NBC10 obtained, a 16-year-old student came first to police near the end of the school year and accused Tyrone Morris Dinkins, Jr., of touching, slapping and rubbing her buttocks. He made lewd remarks about her body, comments about her clothes, grabbed the front of her bra and at one point told her that "she looked like his own personal playboy bunny," according to the documents.
When police investigated, according to the affidavit, they found seven other female students at William Tennett High School, ranging in age from 16 to 19, that Dinkins is accused of treating inappropriately.
Dinkins, 37, faces multiple charges – two counts of unlawful contact with a minor and sexual offenses, four counts of indecent assault without the consent of the other person, four counts of corruption of a minor and six counts of harassment.
Dinkins, who taught at the High School since 2001, is on administrative leave. Just last month he spoke to NBC10 as a guest on The 10! Show about his choral group that was heading to Ireland and then London to perform at the Olympics.
Warminster Township Police issued a warrant for Dinkins’ arrest. Dinkins turned himself in to police on Tuewsday and pleaded not guilty. He faces several charges including unlawful contact with minors. Prosecutors claim Dinkins admitted to flirting with his students and touched them in some cases.
"Fortunately we don't have any allegations here of actual intercourse," said Bucks County District Attorney David Heckler. "Was there grooming behavior? Was this guy trying to desensitize these young women to being touched? Absolutely."
The Centennial School District issued a statement telling students and parents that Dinkins is on administrative leave and that the district is concerned about the seriousness of the allegations.
Neighbors of Dinkins are shocked by the allegations and tell NBC10 that he is married with children.
"You don't know what's going on next door, around the corner, down the street, you just don't know," said Anthony Dipietrantonio. "I'm really surprised. I'm shocked."
"This happened with an adult that kids did know," said Chris Pignatelli who lives near the high school. "So I think that's what's scary more than anything."
"I just want to see what he has to say," said Andrew Marino, one of Dinkins' students. "I personally don't believe any of it but I just want to see what he has to say."