Sex Accusations at Elite Girls-Only School - NBC 10 Philadelphia

Sex Accusations at Elite Girls-Only School

Teacher accused of inappropriate relationship with 14-year old

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    Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Ferman said the alleged relationship started with online chatting and then became physical and intimate in March, 2003.

    Patrick Clugston had a good thing going. He was an English teacher at one of the area's elite all-girl schools, Gwynedd Mercy in Lower Gwynedd, Montgomery County.

    He gave up that job last month after a former student accused him of having an inappropriate relationship with her when she was a 14-year old freshman.

    "My client's been a good family man, he's been an exemplary teacher at the school for the past ten years and his record is unblemished. So he categorically denies any of the allegations that were made against him," Clugston's attorney, Martin Mullaney.

    Clugston resigned in March to "protect the school" said Mullaney.

    Teacher Say He is Innocent

    [PHI] Teacher Say He is Innocent
    Patrick Clugston's attorney says the teacher is a good family man, a great teacher with an unblemished record and categorically denies the accusations.
    (Published Tuesday, April 21, 2009)

    Court documents outline a secret "inappropriate" relationship that Clugston and the student allegedly carried out during the 2002-2003 school year. The two would meet in the school's newspaper office and with lights off and blinds drawn, they would kiss, Clugston would remove the girl's top and the two would fondle each other, according to court documents.

    The victim came forward last month and talked to school officials about the allegations.

    School officials reported to police that Clugston, 44, confessed to them about the relationship, calling it a colossal mistake.

    "My client never confessed to the charges and he was absolutely broadsided with the allegations against him," said Mullaney.

    Clugston is charged with indecent assault, child endangerment and corruption of a minor.