SMITHFIELD TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- Charges of sexual assault are mounting against a former teacher.
State police said Jonathan Smith, 26, of Blakeslee, inappropriately touched at least six of his students. He was a teacher at PA Treatment and Healing, also known as PATH, near Marshalls Creek.
The facility helps students dealing with mental health and substance abuse issues.
“I can't believe it! You hear so much of it going on all over, but to take advantage of people who have problems, that's even more wrong,” Tony Herda of Marshalls Creek said.
State police said when the investigation began last month, one victim said Smith inappropriately touched her in class and sent her sexual messages online.
Three weeks later, five more young women came forward.
“I have a two-month-old son, and if that happened to my kid, I'd be very livid,” Andrew Conklin of East Stroudsburg said.
State police say the victims who were sexually assaulted by Smith range in age from 13 to 17.
“It's just really sad. I don't know who needs more help, the kids or the person doing it. When you hear stuff like that you often wonder,” Herda said.
“It might sound weird, but I pray for him because he apparently does not have a clue as to the consequence that he will have to face one day in doing something like this to these little girls,” Onike Johnson of East Stroudsburg said.
Smith was reportedly fired from his teaching job after the first charges were filed three weeks ago.
He is currently locked up in Monroe County jail on $250,000 bail.