A Montgomery County teacher was arrested and charged with sexually assaulting two teenage girls, both former students at Springfield Township Middle School where he is a social studies teacher.
Jason Todd Gattuso, 39, of Chalfont, Pennsylvania, was charged with statutory sexual assault, unlawful contact with a minor, corruption of minors and other related offenses. Gattuso was arraigned and is currently being held in the Montgomery County Jail after failing to post bail.
Both victims were in the 9th grade -- 14 and 15 -- when Gattuso started texting them, according to the criminal complaint. He was having sex with the teens at various locations, including his car, one of the victim's homes and other locations, according to Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele.
Police began investigating in June after one of the students told police Gattuso started texting her during the school year. When the teen was studying for mid-terms in January of 2015, she said Gattuso offered to come to her home and help her study. Gattuso sexually assaulted the teen, according to the criminal complaint.
The second victim told police she was sexually assaulted 15-20 times by Gattuso in numerous parking lots around Montgomery County, including train stations, hotels and a university. She was 14 when the assaults began.
According to the criminal complaint, Gattuso admitted having sex with both girls and trading sexual text messages and photos.
Gattuso is an 8th grade World History teacher at the school in Oreland, Pennsylvania. Dr. Nancy Hacker, the superintendent of the Springfield Township School District, released a statement to parents saying he was placed on "immediate and indefinite" administrative leave.
"The information we have received indicates that he has confessed to all charges against him," Hacker wrote. "Our district has been cooperating fully with law enforcement officials, including the Springfield Township Police Department and the Montgomery county District Attorney’s Office, in their ongoing investigation, which began at the end of this current school year."
The DA is asking anyone who may have additional information to call Springfield Twp. Police Corporal Robert Chiarlanza at 215-836-1601, ext. 275.
According to Gattuso's bio on the Springfield Township Middle School website, he played football at Villanova University and served in the military prior to working at the school.
Gattuso was sued in federal court in 2015 after he was accused of injuring a 12-year-old boy during a touch football game.
Gattuso was jailed on a $500,000 bail. His preliminary hearing is set for August 9.