Trumbull police have confirmed that they arrested Timothy Leonard, a 7th grade teacher at Wilton’s Middlebrook school on sexual assault charges Tuesday evening.
Lt. Leonard Scinto of the Trumbull Police said Leonard, 37 of Southbury, was found with a 14-year-old male Trumbull child inside a Jeep Cherokee parked in a secluded part of a movie theater parking lot around 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 10. Scinto said the officer noticed both Leonard and the teen passenger “were extremely nervous, so he started asking questions and getting information from the passenger.” While the passenger initially told the officer he was 18, it was eventually determined that he was age 14.
“We were able to run him in our in house system, and determine that he was 14,” Scinto said, adding that the department has had prior contact with the teen and his information was stored in the department’s database.
The police also confirmed that it was determined Leonard and the teen “had engaged in intimate contact while parked in the vehicle.”
According to Trumbull police, Leonard told them that he met the victim on the online dating app Grinder. Leonard told the officer that, “…he liked college-age boys.” He denied knowing that the victim was 14-years-old and said he would not have gotten involved with the boy if he knew his true age.
Leonard was charged with risk of injury to a minor and 4th degree sexual assault, and he posted a $10,000 bond.
He told police that he was a teacher in Wilton and at Sacred Heart University. Scinto said Trumbull police notified both schools of Leonard’s arrest.
In a letter to parents, Wilton school officials said Leonard has been suspended pending investigation, and was not at the school today.
Wilton Public School superintendent Dr. Kevin Smith wrote to parents, “This news comes as an incredible shock to our entire school community. Dr. Leonard has worked in Wilton for many years and had developed a very positive reputation as a teacher. If the allegations are true, Dr. Leonard violated the trust of all in the Wilton Public Schools and throughout our community.”
The school is also making mental health staff and counselors available to students, families and staff members.
The Connecticut Post reports that Leonard also has been suspended at Sacred Heart University, where he is adjunct instructor in the Leadership Literacy department at Sacred Heart University.
Police also said the investigation is ongoing, and that they have seized Leonard’s phone and laptop as part of the investigation.
“We are planning for several search warrants right now. As that progresses and if we determine there are more victims, that will be released,” Scinto said. He said that there have not been reports of other victims. “We’re hoping we don’t,” Scinto said.