Berks County Detectives are investigating after they received a Childline referral from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Human Services on September 19, 2022, which reported that a teacher at Central Middle School, Reading School District, exchanged sexually inappropriate messages with a 13-year-old child.
On Thursday, September 22, 2022, a Forensic Interview was conducted with the 13-year-old victim at the Berks County Children’s Alliance Center, Reading, PA.
During this interview, Detectives say the juvenile victim disclosed that they had become involved in a relationship with 38-year-old Michael J. Conner, Jr. of Reading, beginning with communication between the two via social media accounts.
According to the juvenile victim, this relationship eventually turned sexual in nature. The juvenile victim disclosed that this teacher sent pictures and videos depicting himself performing sexual acts, and that he would request similar videos in return. It was also disclosed that on more than one occasion, the defendant would pick up the juvenile victim in his vehicle after school and drive them to asecluded location. During one of these encounters, he allegedly sexually abused the juvenile victim.
As part of the investigation, cellular telephone content was reviewed. Numerous conversations between the defendant and the juvenile victim were discovered to be sexually explicit in nature.
Conner was employed as a fifth-grade teacher at the district since 2020. Detectives say the Reading School District has been fully cooperative with this investigation.
On Monday, October 17, 2022, Michael J. Conner, Jr. was charged with Sexual Abuse of Children, Institutional Sexual Assault, Aggravated Indecent Assault, Unlawful Contact with a Minor, Corruption of Minors, Indecent Assault, and Tampering with or Fabricating Physical Evidence. He surrendered himself to the Berks County Detectives.
Conners is currently at the Berks County Sheriffs Central Processing Center awaiting his arraignment.
A Criminal Complaint is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.