NORRISTOWN, Pa. (CBS) — A Catholic school teacher in Norristown is accused of sexually assaulting a young child.
The Norristown Borough Police Department arrested Michael Barbee, a teacher at the Early Learning Center Program of Saint Francis of Assisi Parish. Barbee has been charged with 16 counts of child sexual abuse, including involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with a child, indecent assault of a child, and endangering welfare of children.
Barbee is accused of a horrific sexual assault against a 3-year-old girl during naptime.
The Archdiocese of Philadelphia said in a statement that Barbee was placed on administrative leave on Friday after the parish learned he was under investigation.
“These charges are serious and disturbing,” the archdiocese said in a statement. “The Archdiocese is cooperating fully with law enforcement regarding this matter and remains fervently committed to preventing child abuse as well as protecting the children and young people entrusted to its care.”
Families enrolling children in the Early Learning Center Program were told about the investigation.
Anyone who has information to share with police regarding this matter is encouraged to contact the Norristown Police Department’s Detectives Division at 610-270-0977.