TRUMBULL – A popular and well-respected Wilton middle school teacher was arrested on sexual assault charges Tuesday evening.
Trumbull Police said Timothy Leonard, 37, of Southbury, was found with a 14-year-old Trumbull boy in the parking lot of the Bow Tie Cienma in Trumbull around 7:30 p.m. Tuesday evening.
Police said the two both appeared to be nervous when a patrol officer approached the Jeep Cherokee, which was parked in a secluded area off of the cinema parking lot on Quarry Road.
Leonard’s passenger initially told the officer that he was 18, but appeared much younger, Scinto said. “During the course of speaking to the pair it was determined that they had engaged in intimate contact while parked in the vehicle.”
Leonard was charged with risk of injury to a minor and sexual assault in the fourth degree and posted a $10,000 bond.
Leonard is also an adjunct instructor for graduate students at Sacred Heart University. He has been at the university since 2008 and was suspended immediately without pay, according to spokeswoman Funda Alp Wednesday morning.
Wilton School Superintendent Kevin J. Smith wrote in a letter posted to the district website that the news came as an incredible shock to the entire school community.
He said Timothy “T.J.” Leonard has worked in Wilton for many years and had developed a very positive reputation as a teacher.
"The sentiment is this is incredibly shocking news. He is someone who has been in the community, it's very disturbing," said Dr. Kevin Smith, superintendent of Wilton Public Schools.
Dr. Smith added that the school’s mental health staff has been mobilized to create a support plan for students, families and staff members and said people who need support can call 203-762-8388.