SCRANTON -- Seven teenagers have come forward, saying they were molested by their teacher.
Richard Humphrey, an automotive teacher at the Lackawanna County Career Technology Center in Scranton, is facing felony charges accused of molesting seven of his male students.
The Lackawanna County Career Technology Center in Scranton teaches vocational skills to high school students from eight different school districts in the area.
Earlier this month, a boy taking classes at the Career Technology Center said he had been inappropriately touched by a teacher. When police started investigating, six other boys--ages 16 through 18--made similar allegations against Humphrey.
Humphrey, of West Wyoming, teaches automotive tech. He's charged with institutional sexual assault and corruption of minors.
"I think once we started looking into this, we realized that there were a lot of children who felt there was inappropriate behavior. As they were interviewed--they were obviously done separately--their stories were eerily similar," said Lackawanna County District Attorney Shane Scanlon.
The boys told investigators Humphrey would grab them inappropriately, sometimes when they were alone, sometimes in front of other students.
The allegations were surprising to some other CTC students.
"A couple people came up to me and were like, 'Did you hear about Mr. Humphrey?' I was like, 'No, I didn't.' I didn't believe it at first because I had no evidence or anything, anything that I witnessed," said student Ilhanan Razeu. "I didn't believe it. He was a good teacher always, never disrespected me, you know?"
Board members with the Career Technology Center say Humphrey was suspended as soon as the allegations came to light a few weeks ago.
The school said in a statement:
"We have been cooperating fully with all authorities during the investigation of these allegations and immediately implemented steps to ensure student safety when the reports were brought to our attention."
Humphrey is free on bail. He's due in court next week.
Meanwhile, officials at the school say they have provided counseling services to those seven alleged victims.