A third-grade teacher from Hummelstown, Pennsylvania is accused of trying to hypnotize his female students and making them call him “master.”
Police arrested James William Mentzer, 39, on Thursday following a four-month investigation. He has been charged with institutional sexual assault, unlawful contact with a minor, indecent assault, and five counts of corruption of minors, according to the Pennsylvania State Police.
An administrator at East Hanover Elementary School, where Mentzer works, contacted police in February to report suspected child abuse.
“The State Police in Harrisburg worked with multiple agencies conducting this in depth investigation, and what they discovered, that Mentzer had inappropriate contact with five female students, ranging in age from 8, 9, and three 11 year-olds,” said Pennsylvania State Police Trooper Brent Miller, according to WPMT in York, Pennsylvania.
Some of the victims were allegedly taken out of class and brought into an empty room with Mentzer. Mentzer allegedly forced some of them to recite an “oath” in which they called him “master” and promised to obey him, WPMT reported. One victim said Mentzer swung a necklace in front of her face, and asked her to follow it with her eyes. She was allegedly told to say, “I will obey you, master” and “I will obey your commands, master” while Mentzer allegedly recorded the incident. He also allegedly filmed some of the victims while they were forced to perform a puppet show.
Another victim said Mentzer touched her groin area, and ignored her pleas to stop.
“We were able to paint this picture with all these puzzle pieces and put together with five female victims and get this perpetrator off the streets,” Miller told WPMT.
Mentzer was placed on leave back in February when the allegations first came to light, the Lower Dauphin School District said in a statement. He will remain on leave pending the results of the investigation.
Police believe there could be additional victims. Anyone with information is asked to contact the State Police in Harrisburg at 717-671-7500.
[Photo: Pennsylvania State Police]