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Trial pending for ex-York Country Day teacher accused of sex with adult student

Liz Evans Scolforo
York Dispatch

A former York Country Day School teacher is awaiting trial, accused of having sex with an 18-year-old student in March.

Stephen George Henise, 25, of the 200 block of Pleasant View Drive in Windsor Township, remains free on $15,000 unsecured bail, charged with two counts of institutional sexual assault and one count of corruption of a minor, court records state.

All three charges are third-degree felonies, and he has a pretrial conference scheduled for Nov. 16 before presiding Common Pleas Judge Gregory M. Snyder.

"Mr. Henise’s employment was immediately terminated, and we have actively cooperated with law enforcement to ensure the continued safety of our school community," said Mary Dolheimer, spokeswoman for York College, which is affiliated with York Country Day School. "Beyond that, we cannot provide comment on an active law enforcement investigation or a specific personnel matter."

Stephen George Henise

He was a biology teacher at the private school, according to court documents.

His defense attorney, Joe Gothie, declined comment Thursday, noting the case is pending.

What the law states: Although the student Henise is accused of twice having sexual intercourse with was legally an adult at the time, Pennsylvania law makes it illegal for school employees and volunteers to engage in sexual contact with students, even when the students are adults.

Charges were filed by Detective Mark Baker of Northern York County Regional Police after the young woman's father found her and Henise together on March 5 in a Dover Township home and called police, according to police allegations.

The home where the student and Henise were found was owned by a friend of the student's family and was frequently vacant, police said.

The father told officers that when he went to the home to check on his daughter, he found her sleeping on the living-room floor with Henise, according to court documents.

Two days earlier, the father found his daughter and Henise asleep together in the same living room, documents state.

During a police interview, the student said she met Henise at York Country Day School in April 2019, when he was her substitute teacher, documents state.

Allegedly met at parks: She said that in October 2019, she and Henise began to talk between school periods, according to police, who said by that time, the school had made Henise a full-time teacher.

She said Henise gave her his cellphone number in December, and that they began to talk over the phone in late January or early February, documents state.

She also said she and Henise met at least five times at parks around York County, where they would talk and sometimes kiss, documents allege.

The student told detectives that after she turned 18 years old, she and Henise had sex twice, according to court documents.

Henise confessed and confirmed the young woman's account, documents allege.

— Reach senior crime reporter Liz Evans Scolforo at levans@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.

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