Student’s report led to Strauss arrest
Former South Adams Elementary School principal Brian Strauss told Indiana State Police investigator Bobby Jackson that he did not believe that behavior that led to his Thursday’s arrest for sexual misconduct charges with a minor was unlawful.
In an affidavit released from the office of LaPorte County Prosecuting Attorney Robert Szilagyi, detective Adam Hannon, who investigated the case that led to Strauss’s arrest, said that this past Aug. 21, a female who was a minor at the time, reported to Deputy Rashaun Sinclair that she had been involved in an inappropriate relationship, which evolved into a sexual relationship, with Strauss while he was employed as a teacher at South Central School Corporation.
She then told Hannon that she began an online correspondence with Strauss in the summer of 2008. Initially the correspondence consisted of casual conversation, she said, but in the fall of 2008, her freshman year, the correspondence transitioned to content that was sexual in nature.
The content of those conversations involved self-gratification, said the minor, with Strauss instructing various means of self-gratification, requesting that the minor perform those acts.
Between the freshman and sophomore years, the minor described several sexual encounters with Strauss.
The affidavit states that the minor described an additional sexual encounter with Strauss when she was a member of his driver’s education class in the summer of 2009. The minor had noted that Strauss and her had prefabricated additional driving time in order to perform additional acts of self-gratification.
“Brian (Strauss) was concerned with other motorists observing this activity and ceased touching when there was nearby traffic,” stated the affidavit.
The official document goes on to state that in an interview with Jackson at the Berne Police Department on Sept. 29 of this year, Strauss confirmed that a relationship existed with the minor when he was employed at South Central Schools.
“He admitted to having correspondence with her via the Internet,” stated the affidavit.
The document states that Strauss admitted that the conversation eventually led to discussion and demonstrations of various acts of self-gratification. The female admitted that the relationship escalated beyond that.
“Brian confirmed that they fabricated drivers training time to allow them to be along together,” reported Hannon in the affidavit. “He denied that any physical contact had occurred with the minor. Brian noted that attempts were made to discontinue the relationship, but the minor would assure him that everything was alright. Brian mentioned that he allowed the relationship to continue because he enjoyed receiving the attention,” stated the document.
As a result of the detective’s findings, Strauss was arrested by LaPorte County authorities and charged with sexual misconduct with a minor, a Class B felony; sexual misconduct with a minor, a Class C felony; child solicitation, a Class C felony and vicarious sexual gratification, a Class D felony.
Strauss was arrested at his home on Thursday afternoon and was being held on bond of $35,000 at LaPorte County Jail.
Strauss tendered his resignation to South Adams School Superintendent Scott Litwiller on Oct. 3, effective immediately.
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