Chester County charter school teacher charged with sex with student | Local News
WEST GOSHEN – A locally known regional drama teacher and performer has been charged by police with having had an ongoing sexual relationship with a Pennsylvania Leadership Charter School alumnus while on staff at his Center for Performing and Fine Arts.
West Goshen Police filed a complaint against Seth Jason Reich on Thursday after a woman who had been a student at school in 2019 informed investigators that she and Reich had started an intimate relationship when she was underage.
In a recorded conversation, police said Reich told the woman he knew their relationship was bad, but “he couldn’t help it at the time.”
The woman, now 19, told Detective Sgt. David Maurer in an interview late last month that the relationship with Reich started with flirtation, but progressed over time as Reich lured him in for private acting lessons and texting.
The two first had sex in May 2019 at the Carter Drive School and continued until March 2021 at various locations.
The woman, whose name has not been released by police, told Maurer that she believes she and Reich have had consensual sex more than 100 times in different places during their relationship. MediaNews Group does not publish the names of alleged victims of sex crimes unless they give their permission.
Reich, 40, of Caln, has been charged with sexual contact with a student, illegal contact with a minor and bribery of minors. The charges cover the time the woman was a student at the charter school until she graduated and turned 18.
He was arraigned Thursday by District Judicial Judge Martin Goch of West Goshen, who set the bond at $ 25,000. He was briefly detained until his bail was posted Thursday evening. It is not known whether he is represented by a lawyer.
Reich began working as an acting teacher at the Pennsylvania Leadership Charter School in August 2017, after earning a master’s degree in fine arts from Columbia University. It is not known what action, if any, was taken against him by the school, which was founded in the 1990s as one of the first internet-based “cyber charter” schools by James Hanak, a Westtown resident.
A call seeking comment on Reich’s arrest at the school was not returned on Friday.
In addition to his duties at the school, Reich is also the co-founder and artistic director of the local independent Phoenix theater in Chester Springs, where he is married to the company’s director of development, Jessica Myhr.
According to the company’s website, Reich “has established himself as a theater artist and educator with over twenty years of experience in the industry.” He has worked with numerous theater companies and educational institutions, including Actors’ Shakespeare Company, the American Repertory Theater, the Boston Center for the Arts, and the New York Film Academy. He has also appeared as an actor in several media, including theater, television, film and voiceover.
According to the criminal complaint and the arrest affidavit filed Thursday by Maurer, the woman was questioned at the West Goshen Police Department on Monday. In this taped interview, she said she got involved with Reich when she was 17, having attended the charter school’s performing arts school since she was 13.
She said she exchanged phone numbers with Reich at some point in March 2019, and the two started texting each other while she was a student in one of her acting classes. At first they communicated about the piece they were working on, then started having lunch together. He gave her private acting lessons and occasionally took her out of class to work on her acting. “She said it went on for about two months and she got very flirtatious at times,” Maurer wrote.
One day in May 2019, however, he texted her asking her to wear a skirt to school, which she did. She met him in his office, where they started kissing. He then asked her to give him a blowjob, which she did, and then had sex.
She said that afterwards he continued to remove her from the class and that the two had sex about five times between May 2019 and June 2019, when she stopped being his student, mainly in her. office. Their relationship continued until about March.
On Wednesday, under Maurer’s leadership, the woman called Reich on her cell phone and told him about their relationship. She told him that she struggled with the fact that they started having sex when she was 17 and she was still his student. He apologized and said he “couldn’t help her at the time,” according to the complaint.
According to Maurer’s affidavit, during the call, which was taped, Reich said: “He knew it was wrong and thanked her for not telling anyone about it as it could cause him a lot of trouble. ‘trouble. “
Maurer searched the woman’s cell phone and said in his affidavit that he found thousands of explicit text messages and pictures and videos exchanged between the two.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled for July 12 before Judge Goch.
To contact editor Michael P. Rellahan, call 610-696-1544.