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Tippecanoe County gym teacher arrested, facing charges after battering female students

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WISH) — A former Tippecanoe County middle school gym teacher is facing felony battery charges after he was physically inappropriate with several female students, police say.

Peter Anders, 45, was taken into custody on July 26 after a months-long investigation into his behavior.

The investigation began in November 2022, when officers investigated a battery report that happened on Oct. 25, 2022, when court documents say investigators learned that Anders allegedly smacked a female student on the buttocks with a shoe.

Investigators spoke with the female student, as well as other students and school employees who reported Anders’ behavior.

Docs say the students informed officers during interviews that Anders’ inappropriate treatment spanned from the fall of 2021 through the time of the investigation.

Court documents say that during that period, Anders would “poke,” “tickle,” and “put his arms around” several female students in inappropriate areas.

Investigators also learned that Anders would call the students “babe” and “baby,” and reported that Anders “pulled up (students’) shirts” while they ran on the track.

Investigators spoke with school employees, who corroborated the students’ statements. A school paraprofessional told officers that she was in the gym when she “observed Anders bend down and pick up tennis shoes, (then) smack (a student) on the buttocks.”

Detectives also obtained a surveillance video and a video from one of the students that showed Anders hitting the first female student with a shoe.

Court documents say Anders “denied touching any students’ buttocks.”

Anders is being held at the Tippecanoe County jail with a $2,000 cash bond. A jury trial is scheduled for Dec. 4.

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