Crime Watch 8

Sycamore School employee arrested on sex abuse charges

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A former program director at the Sycamore School-Indianapolis is behind bars.

Christopher William Pollard is accused of having sexual relations with a student in 2010 while he was a coach and a teacher at a high school in the city of Hagerstown in northwestern Maryland.

Sgt. Andrew Lewis, the Hagerstown Police Department’s supervisor of criminal investigations, said a victim came forward last summer. Court documents say most of the sexual conduct happened inside Pollard’s home when his former wife was not there.

Police say, because of the gap in time, no forensic evidence exists, but several statements from witnesses and other former students gave police what they needed. Lewis said investigators learned Pollard was working at another school in January and contacted the Indiana Department of Child Services.

“And we couldn’t call the school directly because, A, at this time, we didn’t have enough to charge Mr. Pollard, and that’s a pretty serious accusation to throw at an employer when you don’t quite have enough to charge someone,” the police sergeant said.

Ivonne Bernal lives across the street from the the private school at West 64th Street and Grandview Drive. She said she considered sending her son there.

“It’s literally a private school. I didn’t think something would go down like that. I did think about sending him there not too long ago,” Bernal said.

She said she’s relieved Pollard is no longer working near her home.

Police said Pollard is in the Marion County Jail awaiting an extradition hearing.

“It makes me kind of uncomfortable now that I know, but I mean, he’s not here no more. So, that’s fine by me,” Bernal said.

Diane Borgmann, head of the school, emailed a statement to families on Friday.

“Yesterday, a Sycamore School staff member was arrested on school property. We do not believe this event was witnessed by any students. The information provided to Sycamore School is that the staff member is alleged to have engaged in a sexual relationship with a minor in 2010 in another state. As is our consistent practice, Sycamore School completed a background check when the staff member was hired in 2020. The background check was clean and there were no red flags

“At this time, we have no evidence of misconduct by the staff member while employed by Sycamore School. The staff member has now been released from Sycamore School’s employment and is no longer allowed on campus. Sycamore School’s top priority has always been and will continue to be the safety and well-being of our students. You are welcome to contact me should you have any questions or concerns relating to this matter. As always, we urge all members of our Sycamore School community to contact us at once should they ever become aware of or suspect any misconduct by an adult.” -Diane Borgmann, Head of School.”

Diane Borgmann, head of Sycamore School-Indianapolis, on Sept. 17, 2021

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