By Brad Segall
UPPER PERKIOMEN, Pa. (CBS) — A Montgomery County teacher has been charged with failing to report suspected child abuse, a misdemeanor, after one of his students confided in him two years ago that she was date raped at Penn State’s Berks County campus in 2009.
Authorities say the girl was 15-years-old at the time of the alleged assault. One year later, they say she wrote a note to Frank Mercon, her health teacher at Upper Perkiomen High School, telling him what happened. But police say the 40-year-old teacher told her he didn’t have to tell anyone about her report.
District Attorney Risa Ferman says under the law, that’s not accurate.
“When a teacher gets information and fails to report it, that stands in the way of protecting children,” Ferman says. “And it stands in the way of holding perpetrators accountable.”
Had he come forward, Ferman says police would have been in a better position to investigate the case and the girl would have received the help she needed. She went to police in 2012.
The investigation is ongoing.
Mercon is still employed by the school district.