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Substitute teacher, Michael Agrippine, charged with sex assault of Union Terrace student

By 69 News, follow: @69news, news@wfmz.com
Published On: Jan 30 2013 03:39:31 PM CST
Updated On: Jan 24 2013 10:51:23 AM CST

Substitute accused of sexually assaulting student

ALLENTOWN, Pa. -

A substitute teacher stands accused of sexually assaulting a 9-year-old student inside Union Terrace Elementary School in Allentown.

Michael James Agrippine was arrested Wednesday, said Lehigh County District Attorney Jim Martin, who briefed reporters on the suspect's alleged crime in a news conference at the Lehigh County Courthouse in Allentown.

The alleged victim told authorities that he was in the bathroom in the basement level hallway near his classroom last Friday when Agrippine, 47, of Coopersburg, Lehigh Co., approached.

"It is alleged that the defendant put him up against the wall and held him from behind," said Martin. "The boy told the child interview specialist that Agrippine pulled his pants down and felt something penetrate his anus."

The boy alleges Agrippine sexually assaulted him with his finger, Martin said.

Agrippine was charged with aggravated indecent assault, a first-degree felony; institutional sexual assault, a third-degree felony; and indecent assault, a first-degree misdemeanor.

Russ Mayo, superintendent of the Allentown School District, said Agrippine has been substitute teaching at several schools within the district for the past year and passed all required background checks.

69 News obtained a 2004 picture of Agrippine from the Central Catholic High School yearbook.  Sources tell us Agrippine had been a full time teacher at Central Catholic before substitute teaching in the Allentown School District.

The district, Mayo said, is conducting its own investigation.

"We are providing any supports we have for that individual student," said Mayo.

69News spoke to Agrippine's defense attorney, Ed Angelo of Allentown, and he said his client plans to fight the charges in court. 

 Agrippine has posted $75,000 bail.