Police say 43-year-old Jonathan Visnesky, a former principal of Primos Primary School in Clifton Heights, attacked a student when he was the school’s principal. He left school in 2018.
“We have conducted several forensic interviews with the victim, and with this we are now bringing charges against Mr. Wisnesky,” said Upper Darby Police Chief Tim Bernhardt.
Prior to becoming principal, Visnesky was a teacher in the Upper Darby School District.
His latest employer is Devereux CARES (Center for Autism Research and Education Services) in Downingtown, Pennsylvania.
A company spokesman said he was sent on holiday on Friday after learning of the allegations.
The head of the Upper Darby School District says the charges were made four years ago.
A forensic expert who interviewed another child also made similar allegations.
“It’s nauseating, my son is nonverbal, and I don’t know if he’s ever been in a situation alone,” added mother Jessica Stromberg, whose autistic was 8 when Visnesky was principal of Primos Primary School.
Stromberg says she was suspicious when the school district suddenly got rid of Wisniewski and replaced him with someone else.
“It’s almost as quiet. It was covered in carpet,” she said.
The incident occurred before Dr. Daniel McGarry was appointed head of the school district.
“It’s unfortunate that if you have the opportunity to work with children, that someone will take it for granted. I’m kind of heartbroken to be here today for these children or those who have been involved in this situation,” McGarry said.
Delaware County Attorney Jack Stollsteimer added: “We have no tolerance for people who hunt our children, we will hunt you down and hold you accountable.”
Visneski is charged with two counts of sexual assault, two counts of indecent assault and two counts of endangering the welfare of children.
He was prosecuted and held on $ 150,000 bail.
The following letter was sent to families in the Upper Darby School District:
Hello Upper Darby School District Community:
I would like to give you information about the recent arrest of a former Upper Darby school.
District Officer, Mr. Jonathan Visnesky. First, I want to clarify that Mr. Visnesky is not a current employee of the Upper Darby School District and has not been for some time.
Four years ago, some allegations were made about Mr. Visneski’s interaction with staff and students. The Upper Darby School District investigates all such allegations, and as always, we have followed internal processes and procedures to handle such complaints from a student, staff member, or parent.
The Upper Darby School District has completed all necessary reports and documentation with the relevant county and state agencies and the Upper Darby Police Department. The school district properly considered this personnel issue with information that was provided after a full investigation and input from all parties.
I recently learned about new information received from the Children and Youth Service (CYS) and the Upper Darby Police Department and that they are acting on this new information.
My office has fully cooperated with the Chief of Upper Darby Police, Mr. Timothy Bernhardt, and we will continue to do so.
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