An assistant principal at Susquehanna Township High School who allegedly had sexual relations with a female student turned himself in to police on Saturday morning.
A criminal complaint filed by Susquehanna Township police charges 45-year-old Shawn A. Sharkey with felony counts of institutional sexual assault, corruption of minors and unlawful contact with a minor.
According to a statement from the school district, Sharkey was placed on administrative leave with pay on Wednesday, and a termination letter will be filed with the state Department of Education.
Sharkey had been at the school since January 22 and previously worked for the Philadelphia School District as a dean of ninth grade students.
“It is our belief that this did not occur at school or on school property, nor during the school day,” superintendent Susan Kegerise said in the statement.
“On behalf of board members, educators, and students, we are sickened and saddened by this news, and are very concerned about those involved in this difficult situation,” she said.
According to the criminal complaint, police received information Tuesday that Sharkey and a student were involved in a sexual relationship and would meet for sex Tuesday and Thursday nights at the Red Roof Inn in Harrisburg.
A check of hotel records indicated that Sharkey had rented rooms at the hotel 28 times between February and April, and the girl's phone records revealed numerous calls to and from Sharkey, the complaint states.
Police said in the complaint that when they interviewed the girl Wednesday, she broke down and cried as she acknowledged that an inappropriate relationship had taken place.
She told investigators that she and Sharkey began the sexual relationship February 1, that they had sex at least 10 times before the relationship ended in March, and that Sharkey knew she was 16 years old at the time, the complaint states.
She said Sharkey would pick her up at her home at around 10 p.m. and take her to the hotel for sex, then drive her home as late as 3 a.m., the complaint states.
Sharkey told investigators that he had spoken to the girl on the phone about school issues and personal problems, but had no idea how she got his number. He said he may have “side hugged” her, but never had any inappropriate contact with her, according to the complaint.
He also told police that he rented hotel rooms once a month on nights of school board meetings, rather than drive to his home in Philadelphia, the complaint states.
“It's a situation that kind of scares you. You are trusting during a substantial period of the week you kids to their care,” Chief Deputy District Attorney Sean McCormack told abc27.
A district justice released Sharkey on $50,000 unsecured bail.