Defense Takes Over in Teacher Sex Trial

MONTROSE – Jeffrey Norris walked into the Susquehanna County Courthouse on day three of testimony, where his attorney began building his defense against sexual assault and intimidation charges.

Norris formerly taught at Montrose Area School District where he is accused of having sexual relations with a student back in 2007.

However, when Superintendent Michael Ognosky took the stand, he told jurors he took all of the proper steps to look into these accusations.

“My understanding is that when I become aware of a situation, I should report it. After I conducted my investigation, I contacted our district solicitor, and after our conversation I felt there was nothing to report,” said Ognosky.

Other Montrose teachers who worked down the hall from Norris years ago said they were concerned that the alleged victim’s frequent visits to his classroom would call his reputation into question.

“The only concern I had was for Mr. Norris, the way it could be perceived. Just the fact because of the frequency that she was there, I thought it could be misperceived,” said teacher William Host.

Many witnesses who took the stand at the Susquehanna County Courthouse said the alleged victim changed her story several times, and it’s hard to say when she was telling the truth.

One former student and friend of the victim said, “One day she said, ‘yeah it did happen. ‘ the next day she would say ‘no.’ It would change.”

Troopers investigating the accusations said the victim called Norris’ home more than 100 times, and other students said she would brag about winning this case in court.

“She said that when she wins the case she was going to get $40,000 and would take us all shopping.”

The defense said Jeffrey Norris is scheduled to take the stand in his own defense first thing Thursday morning. Jurors heard from the alleged victim on Monday and will have a lot to consider when beginning their deliberations.



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