By Jon Bishop
HARVARD — An Eldridge Road man who teaches part time at Mount Wachusett Community College and is the husband of the Harvard Public Schools superintendent is facing charges in Pennsylvania that he had sex with a minor in 2006 while he was teaching at a Catholic high school.
James Scott Dwight III, 47, of 3 Eldridge Road was arrested Feb. 26 at his home as a fugitive from justice by Lancaster, Pennsylvania, City Detective Aaron Harnish, assisted by the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force Service and Massachusetts State Police.
Dwight is charged with two counts of corruption of minors. According to LancasterOnline, a local news site, after his arraignment March 2, he was released on $20,000 unsecured bail.
As reported by WPMT-TV Fox43 in Pennsylvania, Dwight was arrested after an investigation that stemmed from a February 2014 report from a then-25-year-old woman that Dwight allegedly had sexual contact with her at his home in June 2006, when she was 17 and a student at Lancaster Catholic High School. Dwight taught English at the school from 2005-2007, according to a report from Lancasteronline.com.
Dwight is married to Dr. Linda Dwight, superintendent of Harvard Public Schools, who issued a statement Tuesday after the Sentinel & Enterprise contacted her for comment.
“Some members of the community may have heard that my husband is a party to legal proceedings in Pennsylvania stemming from an incident alleged to have happened nine years ago,” she said in the statement. “My husband is not an employee of the Harvard Public Schools. He is working with counsel in Pennsylvania to resolve the matter. When the court charge was first issued in February I promptly advised the Harvard School Committee, and my administrative team as I am aware our first concern as educators is establishing and maintaining public trust. As the court process is ongoing and this is a family matter, I will have no further comment.”
Lea Ann Scales, vice president of external affairs, communications and K-12 partnerships at Mount Wachusett Community College, said Dwight “has been an adjunct instructor at Mount Wachusett Community College since 2011.”
“Mr. Dwight remains employed at MWCC pending any determinations by the court in any open cases,” she said.
A statement from Lancaster Catholic published by LancasterOnline reads:
“The Lancaster Catholic High School community is saddened by the allegation of sexual abuse of a former student by a teacher. We ask for prayers for this victim and we will continue to support and cooperate with law enforcement in this investigation. We pledge our commitment to the prevention of sexual abuse of any student in our care and are dedicated to the healing and reconciliation of any that might become victims. We encourage all victims of sexual abuse to call PA Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-932-0313 and the Diocese of Harrisburg Victim Assistance Hotline at 1-800-626-1608.
The accused, Mr. Dwight, was an English teacher at Lancaster Catholic during the 2005 through 2007 school years. Lancaster Catholic High School maintains a zero tolerance policy on any type of student abuse and conducts rigorous background checks in accord with state law prior to the employment of any employee.”
According to the case docket, the next date in Dwight’s case is a July 13 status conference at the Court of Common Pleas.
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