A special education teacher in the New Haven, Connecticut public schools has been charged with sexually assaulting three underage students, according to police. Robert Schmitt, of Hamden, turned himself in to police on Wednesday, police spokesman David Hartman said in a press release Thursday afternoon. Schmitt, 48, is accused of assaulting three students during the 2011-2012 school year at the MicroSociety Magnet School. Each of the alleged assaults took place when the child was under the age of 13, Hartman said. The police investigation of Schmitt began in April, when a school social worker heard an allegation from a student — a 12-year-old girl — and reported it, Hartman said. A second victim, a 14-year-old girl, came forward in May, and two days later detectives spoke with the third victim, a 12-year-old boy.
Superintendent Garth Harries said the school system is moving to terminate Schmitt’s employment and has cooperated fully with police and the Department of Children and Families.”Children should feel safe in school and parents should feel safe sending their children to school,” Harries said in a written statement. “We work hard every day to maintain safety and wellbeing and we act immediately to investigate any concerns brought to our attention. In this case the principal acted immediately to remove the teacher once allegations were made.”Schmitt was escorted off school property the day the first allegation was reported and has not returned since, said Hartman.Schmitt had been charged with three counts each of fourth-degree sexual assault and risk of injury to a child. He has also been charged with third-degree assault, Hartman said. According to court records he was held with bail set at $150,000 and is scheduled to appear in court again on Sept. 24.A letter went out to parents this week about the arrest, said Hartman. School staff and social workers will be available to talk to parents or students who have questions or concerns, he said.As reported in Hartford Courant by Kelly Glista