Police say Jonathan Wisneski, 43, a former principal of Primos Elementary School in Clifton Heights, assaulted the student while he was principal of the school. He left school in 2018.
“We have conducted forensic interviews with a victim, and with those we are now bringing charges against Mr. Wisneski,” Upper Darby Police Superintendent Tim Bernhardt said.
Prior to being principal, Wisneski was a teacher in the Upper Darby School District.
His most recent employer is Devereux CARES (Center for Autism Research & Educational Services) in Downingtown, Pennsylvania.
A company spokesperson said he was furloughed on Friday after learning of the charges.
The Upper Darby School District superintendent says the allegations were made four years ago.
A forensic expert who interviewed another child also made similar claims.
“It’s sickening, my son is non-verbal, and I don’t know if he’s ever been alone in this,” added mother Jessica Stromberg, whose autistic son was 8 when Wisneski was principal of Primos Elementary. .
Stromberg says she was suspicious when the school district suddenly got rid of Wisneski and replaced him with someone else.
“It’s almost like it’s silence. It’s been swept under the rug,” she said.
The incident happened before Dr. Daniel McGarry was appointed superintendent of the school district.
“It’s unfortunate when you are given the opportunity to work with children that anyone would take that for granted. I’m a bit heartbroken to be here today for these children or anyone involved in this situation” , McGarry said.
Delaware County District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer added, “We have zero tolerance for people who prey on our children, we will hunt you down and bring you to justice.”
Wisneski is charged with two counts of institutional sexual assault, two counts of indecent assault and two counts of endangering the welfare of children.
He was arrested and is being held on $150,000 bond.
The following letter was sent to families in the Upper Darby School District:
Good Afternoon Upper Darby School District Community:
I wanted to provide you with information on the recent arrest of an alumnus of Upper Darby School.
District employee, Mr. Jonathan Wisneski. First, I want to clarify that Mr. Wisneski is not a current employee of the Upper Darby School District and has not been for some time.
Four years ago, some allegations were made about Mr. Wisneski’s interactions with staff and students. The Upper Darby School District is investigating all of these allegations and, as always, we have followed our internal processes and procedures to deal with such complaints from a student, staff member or parent.
The Upper Darby School District has completed all required reports and documents with the appropriate county and state agencies and the Upper Darby Police Department. The school district has addressed this personnel issue appropriately with the information provided to us after thorough investigation and feedback from all parties.
Recently I learned of new information obtained by Children and Youth Services (CYS) and the Upper Darby Police Department, and that they are acting on this new information.
My office is cooperating fully with the Upper Darby Police Chief, Mr. Timothy Bernhardt, and we will continue to do so.
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