Puterbaugh
Puterbaugh

A suspended Dover Area Intermediate School teacher facing trial on more than 600 counts of child pornography was arrested again Friday on two new rounds of charges. He's accused of having sex with a former student at least 80 times, starting during one of her music lessons.

The first new round of charges against Matthew B. Puterbaugh, 46, of 1000 Conewago Road in Dover Township include statutory sexual assault, aggravated indecent assault against a victim less than 16 years of age, corruption of minors, and indecent assault against a victim less than 16 years of age, according to Northern York County Regional Police.

Police said on April 12, 2013, the intermediate school received an anonymous call saying a female had been having a sexual relationship with Puterbaugh while she was a student at the school.

The Dover Area School District notified police, who started an investigation. The female student, now an adult and living out of state, met with investigators several times over the past year, police said.

In March 2014, the victim returned to Pennsylvania for an interview with investigators.

During the interview, she said she started music lessons at the intermediate school with Puterbaugh when she was a fourth-grader, police said.

The lessons continued for more than two years, during which Puterbaugh "would sit close to her and his closeness made her feel uncomfortable," police said.

The former student said that, during the summer between her sixth and seventh grades, Puterbaugh began touching her and would touch her pubic region through her pants, police said. The student also reported that Puterbaugh would put his hand inside her shirt, police said.

As the summer continued, Puterbaugh began showing the victim his penis and eventually had sex with her inside a storage area during one of the music lessons, police said.

The sexual assaults continued over the next three years, police said. The student estimates Puterbaugh had sex with her on at least 80 occasions at either the school, her residence, or his residence, police said.

Second complaint: The second round of new charges, some of which stem from earlier reported child pornography charges, contain seven counts of wiretapping, 10 counts of corruption of minors, seven counts of invasion of privacy, and five counts of harrassment.

As past of the earlier investigation, police identified 30 potential victims, at least some of whom were students, who reported Puterbaugh had touched them in some way or who were identified as subjects in one of the videos found on Puterbaugh's cell phone or other digital media belonging to him.

Of the 30 initial reports, 15 were found to be not prosecutable because the incident did not meet the criteria of a criminal offense or the statute of limitations had expired, police said.

The seven counts of wiretapping are related to videos where the voices of the victims were captured without their knowledge or consent, police said.

The seven counts of invasion of privacy arise from videos made by Puterbaugh that were taken up the skirt or shorts of female students, showing undergarments, and were made without their knowledge or consent, police said.

The 10 counts of corruption of minors include the instances of invasion of privacy as well as three additional videos that were taken of the breast/cleavage and/or pubic regions of clothed students, police said.

The five counts of harassment are for instances where Puterbaugh rubbed the legs and/or thighs of students without their consent, police said.

The incidents occurred over the past four years and occurred at the intermediate school, the Dover High School Band Camp and subsequent practices, and at Dover Area High School graduation ceremonies held at the York Expo Center, police said.

According to Central Booking, Puterbaugh was released Friday on $500,000 bail Friday.

Earlier charges: Puterbaugh was arrested for the first time on Feb. 27 after his cellphone and computers were searched by police. That time, he was released from York County Prison on $250,000 bail.

After a 20-minute preliminary hearing in April, District Judge Scott Laird said prosecutors presented enough evidence to forward charges to court.

During the preliminary hearing, the defense didn't offer testimony, and the lone witness for the prosecution was Det. Mark Baker, who is a child pornography investigator with Northern Regional.

Baker said he was called to assist a school police officer on the case after an "incident" involving a 12-year-old girl; the officer needed help seizing computers to which Puterbaugh had access.

Baker also searched Puterbaugh's cellphone and found "multiple" "up-skirt" photos of clothed girls, he testified.

Police have said they also found videos of clothed school-age girls, some of whom were later identified as current and former district students, on the computer and on Puterbaugh's cellphone. The videos focused on the students' breast and genital regions, but the students were clothed, police said.

Baker said a search of a computer at Puterbaugh's home, where he lives alone, showed images of "indecent acts" and naked children. Several of the children in the images have previously been identified as underage victims by the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, the officer testified.

School district responds: The school district on Friday posted a statement on its website saying administrators had been notified about the new information concerning Puterbaugh.

"Mr. Puterbaugh has been on unpaid leave of absence from the District since the prior criminal investigation," the statement reads. "The school district has been cooperating with (police) and will continue to do so. Our hearts go out to our students and their families."

The district is providing counseling to students and will "continue to be vigilant in its efforts to provide a safe environment for all students," and officials are continuing to review and revise district and building policies and procedures, according to the statement.

Administrators directed questions to Northern York County Regional Police at 717-292-3647.

— Reach Christina Kauffman at ckauffman@yorkdispatch.com.