Friday, June 12, 2009

Teacher Michael Drebes Charged with Sexually Assaulting 2 Teens

A teacher at Memorial High School was recently charged with three offenses, including first-degree aggravated assault, for allegedly sexually assaulting two teenage students, Cumberland County Prosecutor Ronald J. Casella announced Friday.

Michael Drebes, 37, of Millville, was arrested also on charges for second-degree endangering the welfare of a child, and third-degree official misconduct, Casella said in a news release.

Drebes allegedly sexually assaulted a current 14-year-old student over the course of four months in Cumberland, Cape May and Camden counties, the release said. He is also alleged to have committed an act of sexual assault on a former student who is currently 16 years old.

The Cape May Prosecutor’s Office charged Drebes with first-degree aggravated assault upon a minor less than 16 years old, and second-degree charges of endangering the welfare of a child and sexual assault, the release said.

Charges are also pending in Camden County. The investigation is continuing, the release said.

Millville schools Superintendent Shelly Schneider said the school learned of the arrest June 5, the day after, in a call from city Police Chief Ed Grennon. Police and the Prosecutor's Office asked for confidentiality while the investigation proceeded.

"All I can verify is he is a teacher of math at the Memorial School for five years," Schneider said.

Schneider said Drebes is suspended with pay. That could go to suspended without pay if he is indicted," she said.

Schneider said the students did not contact the district.

"I was only fully aware of the one _ the 14-year-old student," Schneider said. "I know other students were questioned at the high school. I didn't get the results."

Anyone with information should contact Det. Keith Kanauss from the Cumberland County Prosecutor’s Office at (856) 453-0486 and Det. Keith O’Brien of the Millville Police Department at (856) 825-7010.
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